October 14, 2014

FBC News: RFMF is the ultimate guarantor of national security: PM

13:07 Mon Oct 13, 2014
Report by: Edwin Nand

The role of the military has come up in the first sitting of the new parliament as MPs debate the President’s opening speech this week.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has paid tribute to the RFMF for standing by him as the military commander, saying the military could not stand by and watch Fiji be destroyed by corruption and nepotism.

“History will eventually make its own pronouncements on the events of 2006, but those of us in the military who believe passionately in national unity came to the conclusion that the fabric of our nation was unraveling and that only radical intervention would enable us to pick up the threads. None of us wanted to remove the civilians we had appointed to take our forward, but when it appeared that they had precisely the same racist and corrupt agenda as the instigators of 2000 we had no choice.”

However, Opposition leader Ro Teimumu Kepa in her address also made reference to the military, saying it’s been involved in every coup in Fiji’s history.

“Coups cannot occur or succeed in this country, unless the military is involved and we therefore look to the new military commander to return the military to the professional and disciplined force it once was and to re-commit itself to the defence of our people and not against them. I believe the question of the transparency and accountability of this parliamentary process is something that in time, will reveal itself.”

The Prime Minister has stressed in parliament that national security has always been the responsibility of the RFMF.

“Only a radical intervention was capable of getting Fiji back on track of establishing once and for all the universal democratic principle that all men and women are equal. I want to thank the RFMF for supporting the reform process, of carrying out its duty to be the ultimate guarantor of national security, of holding Fiji together and for the personal support I received as commander.”

The first parliament session continues at the Government Buildings in Suva.

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