On 5 December 2006 Commodore Frank Bainimarama, head of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, staged Fiji's fourth coup since its first in May 1987. The flashpoint came after a long drawn out confrontation between the military, overwhelmingly indigenous Fijian, against a predominantly Fijian-led government of Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase. The military accused the government of breach of faith and of giving succour to politicians who had been variously implicated in the George Speight-led coup of 2000, rewarding them with ministerial portfolios. The introduction of controversial bills, promising amnesty to coup convicts, and the government's curious unwillingness to take the military's threats seriously, compounded the problem. The coup deposed a democratically elected government but it also in the process dealt a severe blow to the influence of some of the most important institutions of Fijian society. A military-appointed interim administration, with Bainimarama as prime minister and Labour leader and former coup victim Mahendra Chaudhry as finance minister, has been installed and has promised to hold Fiji's next general elections in 2010.
|The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs
|Published - 2007