NO NEED FOR COUP, JUST "CLEAN-UP": BAINIMARAMA

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SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, November 19) – Fiji army commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama says there is a need to clean up government.

Bainimarama said there was no need for a coup, but a clean-up campaign was definitely needed.

The army chief said alternative plans were put in place if the Government did not adhere to its demands.

Bainimarama also called on the Government to stop lying to the people and admit that the 2000 coup was wrong.

He said the Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua-led Government should tell the people of Fiji what really happened.

He said the Government was doing the opposite.

Bainimarama went on to say that the military has no interest in running the Government.

The ongoing military-government impasse was reignited last month by a three-week military ultimatum for the Government to resign.

The Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) was called in to mediate between the two parties.

Commodore Bainimarama said he did not believe that the GCC was the right mediator since some of the chiefs were involved in the 2000 coup.

The army boss said he had "washed" his hands of any further talks with Qarase following the Government's move to oust him from his position.

Commodore Bainimarama said the Government must agree to the army's demands before further talks can take place.

The army's demands include Qarase to remove all those convicted or implicated in the 2000 coup from holding government positions and to suspend all investigations by police against the Commander.

The army also wants Police Commissioner Andrew Hughes to resign and the disbandment of the Police Tactical Response Unit.

The army wants the Government to drop the Reconciliation, Tolerance and Unity Bill, Qoliqoli Bill and Indigenous Claims Tribunal Bill.

Commodore Bainimarama said the army would also continue its fight to pressure the Government to abolish the Native Land Trust Board's commercial arm Vanua Development Corporation.

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