Fiji coup leader snubs chiefs
Bainimarama declines invite from tribal chiefs to find way to restore legal government.
Bainimarama wants the council to reappoint Ratu Josefa Iloilo as president to kickstart the process of naming an interim government, but the chiefs have refused to recognise Bainimarama’s interim government as legal rulers of the country.
Last week Bainimarama escalated the standoff with the chiefs, when he said the military could rule in Fiji for another 50 years if the council failed to recognise his interim government.
Qarase will also not attend the meeting because Bainimarama has ordered domestic transportation services not to allow him passage from his home in the remote Lau group of islands to the capital Suva, from which he has been banned since December 6.
The former prime minister has urged Fijians to protest in peaceful ways to restore democracy.
Bainimarama has promised to restore democracy and said he toppled Qarase’s administration to fight corruption and “clean up” the government.
He has not issued a timetable for appointing an interim government.