Martial law returns to Fiji
Coup leader warns of efforts to "destablise" country by ousted prime minister.
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2007 08:40 GMT
Bainimarama accused Qarase of spreading lies and trying to destabilise Fiji [AFP]
Fiji's military government has reimposed martial law after returning the south Pacific country to a state of emergency.
The move comes days after Laisenia Qarase, the former prime minister ousted in a bloodless coup last December, returned to the capital Suva to launch a court action against the current government.
Army chief Frank Bainimarama, who is also interim prime minister, has accused Qarase of spreading lies, and is threatening to exile him.
Bainimarama said the emergency measures, which will be in place for a month, were needed to halt what he said were efforts by Qarase and members of his political party to "destabilise" the country.

"The lies they were spreading were not in the best interests of the nation"

Commodore Frank Bainimarama, Fiji's army chief

Under the emergency rules, the military has the right to detain people without charge.
"The lies they were spreading were not in the best interests of the nation," Bainimarama told the Fijilive Web site. "I have to tell them on behalf of the government and the military, we are not going to accept that."
Bainimarama has been under pressure from several neighbouring countries, as well as the European Union and the US, to return Fiji to democratic rule.
He has said elections will be held in March 2009, but critics say the handover must take place sooner.
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