2006… A younger, fitter and still in control Frank Bainimarama
As Fiji prepares for its first elections in eight years, the new head of the all-powerful armed forces has admitted that citizens have been beaten and tortured by the military regime, claiming it was necessary to stave off civil disorder.
“I wouldn’t deny that these things happened,” said Brigadier-General Mosese Tikoitoga, hand-picked successor of Frank Bainimarama, who has stepped down from the military to contest the elections. “But a lot of these people were actually trying to instigate violence by creating anti-government movements or militant groups.
“They were talking on the radio and so on … If you let them continue to have a voice, you create a potentially dangerous environment. So it was the lesser of two devils.”
In his first interview with an overseas media organisation since taking over as commander in March, General Tikoitoga also vowed that the military would respect the result of the September 17 election. “We will not have another coup, as such – that’s quite definite,” he said.
However, the army would not tolerate an elected government rewriting the new constitution, he said. The constitution – drafted by the regime of self-appointed Prime Minister Mr Bainimarama, and Fiji’s fourth such document in 34 years – grants immunity from prosecution to everyone involved in the December 2006 coup.
One can understand Brigadier-General Mosese Tikoitoga support for the constitution that gives immunity from prosecution for those that took part in the 2006 coup, but does he also support the corruption and lack of transparency in government that has been in effect for the past 5 years since the military council had little or no say in this administrations policies?
Brigadier-General Mosese Tikoitoga is an intelligent man, he is fully aware as many others are, who is playing the tune that our esteemed leader is dancing to. Will he allow this to continue after September ??? Can Fiji as a nation afford it to continue ?