NEW BOOK HIGHLIGHTS BAINIMARAMA PRE-2006 COUP CLAIMS

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Excuse that election were rigged by Qarase were false

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 28, 2009) – A new book on the Fiji coup two years ago says Commodore Frank Bainimarama’s claims that the 2006 election was rigged are fraudulent.

The book, The 2006 Military Takeover in Fiji: A Coup to End All Coups, launched today at the Australian National University, was edited by academics Jonathan Fraenkel, Brij Lal and Stuart Firth.

[PIR editor's note: The book is freely available online at  http://epress.anu.edu.au/coup_coup_citation.html. The relevant section is at p162-166.]

Dr Fraenkel says the Commodore’s allegations of electoral fraud are largely self-serving bombast and showmanship.

He says the claims were based on flawed research made public by the Fiji Human Rights Commission.

Dr Fraenkel says the researchers, led by Waikato University academic, Dr David Nielsen, had encouraged people to make submissions and so did not get the complete story.

"Now all of these people, almost all of these people had an axe to grind against the regime [the Qarase government] - the people that had won in the elections or didn’t think there was electoral fraud they didn’t go along to this. So it was all really based on hearsay and people saying that they felt the elections hadn’t been as they wanted them to."

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

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