Fiji PM says will not quit amid stand-off with military | india | Hindustan Times
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Fiji PM says will not quit amid stand-off with military

india Updated: Nov 01, 2006 14:27 IST
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Fiji Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase said on Wednesday that he would not quit amid a stand-off with the military which has raised fears of a coup in the Pacific island nation.

"I declare emphatically that there is absolutely no question of me resigning in response to the situation or of my government standing down," Qarase said in an address to the nation.

Qarase was speaking for the first time since top military brass rejected a government decision on Tuesday to replace outspoken commander Voreqe Bainimarama, who has repeatedly said he was ready to force the government to resign.

Qarase also warned that any attempt by the military to overthrow the government could lead to international intervention.

"The international community is now more proactive in protecting democratically elected governments when the rule of law and its constitutionality are threatened or overturned," he said.

"Our international friends are coming out very strongly in support of the maintenance of democracy and constitutional rule in Fiji."

He said the governments of Australia, New Zealand and the US had expressed strong support for his government.

The Pacific Islands Forum, of which Australia and New Zealand are members, has an agreement allowing for intervention by other forum members at the invitation of the government, he added.

He said the military should be aware of the "catastrophic consequences" of the threats they were making against the government.

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