Bainimarama a ‘military dictator’
Updated about 1 hour ago
A former minister in Fiji’s government says Frank Bainimarama operates a dictatorship and has continued to run the administration as if it were the military.
Samu Alivereti Saumatua was formerly a military colonel and also served as the housing and local government minister.
He is now standing for the indigenous Fijian backed Sodpela party.
He said he left the administration because he didn’t agree with the way things were being done.
“There was no adjustment, and this is what I couldn’t stand.”
He said it was a type of bullying and as a professional soldier he felt it was not right.
During yesterday’s rally, the Fiji First leader, Frank Bainimarama, brushed off comparisons between him and African dictators, saying those leaders were looking after themselves, while he had acted for the people.
Mr Bainimarama told the rally that other parties were trying to create fear about what might happen if his party is elected.
He said Fiji First had to work hard to correct misinformation that could lead to the sort of events that occurred in the George Speight-led coup of 2000, when indigenous Fijians, or taukei, suffered.
“Where did it end up? Racial discrimination – the Indo-Fijians were safe, the Chinese were safe, the taukei killed each other.”
Mr Bainimarama said his party would provide a government of unity and stability.
Today is the last day campaigning is allowed in the lead up to Fiji’s first elections in nearly eight years, to be held on Wednesday.