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Fiji Coup - Qarase Govt Out Thursday

Crumbling to pressure from rebel leader George Speight, the Fijian military will dissolve the new Qarase Government on Thursday and hand over power to a new President, yet to be selected.

A new agreement, the Muanikau Accord was signed late on Sunday by army Commodore Frank Bainimarama and George Speight and is due to come into effect today.

It will invalidate the new interim government of Laisenia Qarase, which would be 10 days old by Thursday.

The Accord states the new President will be chosen by the Great Council of Chiefs. The new president would then pick the new government in consultation with the Council and Speight’s group.

It will ensure Mr Speight would hand over the 27 hostages and his arms in return for a blanket immunity from prosecution for him and his men.

Under the terms of the Accord, the military will also immediately remove the Military Exclusive Zone.

The new President is expected to appoint a new government that will rule Fiji for 24 months. He will also appoint a constitution review commission that will ready a new constitution to replace the abrogated 1997 Constitution. Fresh elections are then expected to be held after 24 months.

Army Commander Frank Bainimarama said yesterday the military agreed to sign the Muanikau Accord because the crisis had gone on for too long and a peaceful solution was needed.

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