MILITARY TO RELINQUISH POWER TO PRESIDENT

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Dec. 31) – Fiji's army commander says the military regime will return executive authority to President Ratu Josefa Iloilo in two weeks.

Iloilo will then appoint an interim administration, on the advice of the military, by the end of next month, said army commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.

Speaking in Fijian on Radio Fiji yesterday, Commodore Bainimarama said the military wants to relinquish leadership of the country as soon as possible.

"We want to hasten the setting up of the interim administration. It will be good for the military and all of us," he said. "I can't confirm the particular date. But in the next two weeks we will give back executive authority to Ratu Josefa Iloilo who will appoint the interim administration that will take us to the next general election.

The military overthrew the Laisenia Qarase-led Government on December 5 in a bloodless coup, citing corruption to justify its "clean-up campaign".

Commodore Bainimarama said that no one in the military is allowed to benefit from the takeover.

"We are not doing this for the greed of power," he said. "We have two guidelines. Firstly, none of us is to benefit from this (nor our village or family or whatever). Secondly, we have a higher calling. We are not to be arrogant. We are not to flaunt our power or uniform or guns. If we ignore these guidelines we will fail."

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