QARASE BACK IN SUVA, OFFERS SERVICES

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SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Sept. 2) – Ousted Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase says the country is in serious trouble and has offered his services to the Interim Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama to help rectify this problem.

"Our country is in serious trouble and it has been forecasted that the economic performance for 2007 will fall by 3.1 percent of gross domestic product," he said following the end of his nine-month exile yesterday.

The deposed leader is currently attending a Fathers Day service at the Centenary Church in Suva accompanied by members of the Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua (SDL).

Qarase said that the interim government should realize the growing trend of poverty, crime rate has increased and foreign investment has declined.

He said that the onus is on the interim government to work together and move the country forward.

"Its time to move on and work together for the betterment of the country," Qarase said.

He also proposes that the country should be returned to democracy as quickly as possible with through early elections.

SDL party director Peceli Kinivuwai said that Qarase was making such statements in his capacity as the party president and as a citizen of this country.

"The media should stop harassing him (Qarase) for a moment and let him rekindle all those time he has lost in Suva but it is prudent that he make such statements as a concerned citizen of this country."

Meanwhile SDL party officials will meet with Qarase tomorrow to discuss their next move.

Qarase has also confirmed that he is willing to work with Commodore Bainimarama if he is given a chance.

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