PM leaves Fiji's capital for post-coup army rule

December 6, 2006 03:11


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Fiji's ousted prime minister left the capital Wednesday, the day after a bloodless coup, as international sanctions and censure began isolating the South Pacific country. Armed forces chief Commodore Frank Bainimarama's plan to install a caretaker government that would eventually restore democracy ran into an immediate snag when the country's powerful tribal chiefs' council canceled a meeting that was a key part of it. Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase flew out of Suva to his home village on the remote northeastern Lau group of islands after spending the night in his city residence surrounded by troops, said Pene Nonu, his private secretary. Qarase, who insists he is still Fiji's legitimate leader, chartered the plane, but left at the request of the military, Nonu said.

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