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 Fiji Coup Leader Tightens Grip On Power As New Pm, 1 month after overthrow of elected Gov.
Posted: Jan 5 2007, 02:40 PM

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SUVA (AFP) - Fiji's coup leader Voreqe Bainimarama has consolidated his hold on power after being sworn in as interim prime minister, exactly one month after overthrowing the elected government.

The swearing-in by President Ratu Josefa Iloilo came a day after Bainimarama initiated moves to form an interim government in the South Pacific nation by reinstating Iloilo -- a close ally -- as president.

He also reiterated that the military would be given legal immunity for their role in overthrowing Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase's government on December 5.

The swearing-in was described by New Zealand as a failed attempt to legitimise the coup, and as illegal by the deposed Qarase, who warned of a looming military dictatorship.

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