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Friday, 19 May, 2000, 07:05 GMT 08:05 UK
Coup leader speaks

George Speight introduces his prime minister
George Speight, leader of the armed group in Fiji which says it has overthrown the government of Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry has been speaking to the nation about his actions. Here is a text of his statement:

"I want to make clear that these actions set forth the foundations for change once and for all in the affairs of the country of Fiji, as desired by the indigenous people of Fiji in their desire to achieve self-determination and control of their future destiny in all matters pertaining to their livelihood and the affairs of the Republic of the Fiji Islands.

When we executed our actions this morning, there were a small number of us - but as I speak and as I sit to make these announcements to you, I speak on behalf of every individual member of the indigenous Fijian community.

Through these actions I am asserting ownership, am asserting control and I am asserting executive power over Fiji.

We have revoked the constitution and have set that aside. We have revoked the powers of the president of the Republic of Fiji.

The executive control of this country of ours currently resides in my hands.

I will make a further press statement... and in that, I shall be announcing the make-up of an interim government of ministers who'll serve and run the affairs of Fiji to determine the long, short and medium term plans of the country.

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