After declaring martial law and taking command of the country late yesterday, Fiji’s new military rulers said they would begin negotiations to free the hostages. The forces have not cracked down on the rebels or stopped their supporters from entering Parliament.
As a delegation of four officers from the military met Speight representatives today afternoon at a theological college near Parliament, rebel supporters threw rocks at cars, and soldiers did nothing to stop them.
Meanwhile, formalising his powers, Commodore Bainamarama today revoked the 1997 Constitution, but in a second decree said all laws in force under that Constitution would remain unchanged under martial rule.
Commodore Bainamarama said Speight would have to be granted an amnesty despite his “criminal act” in taking the country’s Prime Minister hostage.
He said Fiji’s President Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara had already promised Speight an amnesty.