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NEWSFLASH: Ugly Scenes At Fiji Parliament

The situation has turned ugly at the Fijian Parliament after negotiations between hostage taker George Speight and the military broke down when Mr Speight refused to accept the choice of the military for a new Prime Minister.

Mr. Speight said he would not agree to releasing any further hostages, despite the army agreeing to his demands to replace the Fijian Government, President, grant him an amnesty and negate the country’s constitution.

The military’s choice for an Interim PM, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, dissatisfied Speight because he is related to the former President Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, and is the husband of a cabinet minister held hostage by Mr Speight. Speight said he did not believe the cause of indigenous Fijian rights could be advanced under his leadership.

A radio correspondent in Fiji who had left the Parliamentary compound because he believed he was in danger said Mr. Speight appeared to be “ranting” at his negotiators and making further demands.

The international media have left the Parliament grounds after coup supporters seized a ABC news van and a number of other vehicles.


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