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Last Updated: Friday, 7 September 2007, 08:51 GMT 09:51 UK
Emergency rule declared in Fiji
Cmdr Bainimarama, file pic
Cmdr Bainimarama seized power in a bloodless coup last year
Fiji's military rulers have reimposed a state of emergency, three months after the previous one was lifted.

Commodore Frank Bainimarama said the measures were needed because ousted Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase was trying to destabilise the country.

Mr Qarase, who was overthrown in a coup in December, returned to Fiji's capital Suva last week after more than eight months in exile on his home island.

Under the emergency powers, officials can detain people without charge.

But Cmdr Bainimarama said the security situation remained unchanged for the Fijian people, as the measures - which are due to last a month - were aimed only at Mr Qarase and his political allies.

After returning to Suva, Mr Qarase offered to work with the military government, but was rebuffed.

At the same time, he initiated court action seeking to declare Cmdr Bainimarama's government illegal.

The Pacific island's military rulers have been under increasing international pressure to speed up a return to democracy.

They have tentatively agreed to hold elections by March 2009, a year earlier than planned.




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