UNSC urges Fiji to return to constitutional rule | india | Hindustan Times
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UNSC urges Fiji to return to constitutional rule

india Updated: Dec 08, 2006 11:50 IST

The UN Security Council has called for the early reinstatement of Fiji's democratically elected government, which was ousted in a military coup led by Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

Members of the 15-member council said in a statement on Thursday that they hoped "the democratically elected government (of Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase) will be reinstated as soon as possible."

The statement, read out by Qatar's UN Ambassador Nasser Abdulaziz al-Nasser, also urged restraint and "a peaceful solution in accordance with Fiji's constitution".

It said the council welcomed and backed "efforts by the Pacific Islands Forum and other regional and international entities to resolve this situation in a peaceful and last manner."

Earlier on Thurdsday, Fiji's newly-imposed premier admitted that the army ouster of the elected government was illegal and that elections could be two years away, but said the nation did not need Western-style democracy.

In his first public comments a day after being sworn in, caretaker Prime Minister Jona Senilagakali defended the overthrow of what he termed a corrupt government and warned Australia and New Zealand not to interfere.

He was speaking as military chief Bainimarama cracked down on dissenters by dismissing a quiver of senior police officers and civil servants after warning he would not tolerate dissent and would forcibly crush revolt.