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Bune Defends People's Coalition

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SUVA: Deposed Forests Minister Poseci Bune has rejected claims by Fiji's interim Information Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola that the People's Coalition no longer exists, the Fiji Sun reports.

He said Kubuabola's statements reminded him of the "proverbial ostrich burying its head in the sand".

In a media statement, Bune said yesterday Kubuabola's comments had exposed how politically naive and unsure the interim administration was.

"Ratu Inoke has made an absurd claim that the VLV (Vaetokani Lewenilotu Vakarisito) now supports the interim administration.

"As the leader of the VLV, I can only refuse such claims since the VLV continues to be an integral part of the People's Coalition," Bune said.

"The VLV will not be party to anything that is illegal or unconstitutional."

Bune said the People's Coalition had no quarrel with the people of Fiji since it was trying to persuade the military-backed interim administration that the only way forward for Fiji was the full reinstatement of the 1997 constitution and the setting up of a government of national unity.

"Why does Ratu Inoke continue to speak so disparagingly of the People's Coalition's efforts to return the country quickly to democracy and constitutional government?" he said.

"After all, we have an overwhelming mandate from Fiji's voters as recently as last year.

"Ratu Inoke should spend less time trying to justify his administration's existence and more time appealing to those supporters of the SVT and the Taukei Movement who are holding 30 or more weapons."

Bune added that the 1990 constitution had failed to deliver the Fijian people from under-development and poverty despite seven years of Soqosoqo ni Vakavulewa ni Taukei (SVT) rule.

* The SVT is Kubuabola's party, previously led by 1987 coup leader Sitiveni Rabuka. The VLV, or Christian Democratic Alliance, is led by Bune.

Ends

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