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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Fiji Prime Minister told press conference he will not step down despite army threats

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji, Hon Laisenia Qarase, has told a press conference of local and international media in Suva an hour ago (5pm FJ time) that he is not going to resign despite the Military's strong threat to do so.

This was after he had a meeting with the President of Fiji, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, at 4pm (FJ time) today.

During the press conference Mr Qarase has reavealed that he is willing to have further dialogue with the Military to discuss matters of concern. He has also directed Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, Minister for Fijian Affairs, Lands & Provincial Development to call a special meeting of the Great Council of Chiefs to discuss this issue next week.

He has also told the nation through a national address that there would be dire consequences for Fiji if his democratically elected Government is overthrown. He added that he has received messages today from the governments of Australia, United States, and New Zealand assuring him of their support whilst warning the military to confine to themselves and abide by the constitution. Mr Qarase has also appealed to the churches and people of Fiji to pray for the nation so that common sense can prevail.

Meanwhile, it is still not clear what the military is going to do after this national address where Qarase has maintained that he will not step down.

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