INDEPENDENT NEWS

Newsflash: Fiji Coup - Chaudhry Government Out?

Published: Thu 25 May 2000 04:02 PM
The democratically elected Government of Mahendra Chaudhry may be on the way out according to United New Zealand Leader Peter Dunne.
Speaking in Parliament today Dunne asked Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff if he could confirm reports an interim government would be put in place of the current regime by Fijian President Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara. Mr Dunne also asked whether reports President Mara had granted coup leader George Speight immunity from prosecution were also true.
Mr Goff said he had received no information to confirm the reports. However he said it would by "utterly unacceptable" for Mr Speight to play any place in any new government.
“I was briefed on the situation by officials before 2 pm this afternoon, and I had no advice this was taking place” he said.
Meanwhile the internet news site fijilive.com has reported George Speight has told journalists he is yet to decide whether he will give up his political hostages.
The news source also reports the numbers of Native Fijians who support Speight are growing as they flock into the Parliament grounds.
Mr Speight is due to meet a committee from the Council of Chiefs this afternoon.
Alastair Thompson
Scoop Publisher
Alastair Thompson is the co-founder of Scoop. He is of Scottish and Irish extraction and from Wellington, New Zealand. Alastair has 24 years experience in the media, at the Dominion, National Business Review, North & South magazine, Straight Furrow newspaper and online since 1997. He is the winner of several journalism awards for business and investigative work.
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