Military coup

COMMANDER FRANK Bainimarama announced on Tuesday that he had taken over the country and overthrown Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase. He accused Qarase of corruption before placing him under house arrest in the capital Suva. Bainimarama had previously expressed his anger over the prime minister’s proposed legislation to offer amnesty those responsible for the coup in 2000. The military commander told citizens that troops would be patrolling the streets, but he would not enforce a curfew. He urged them not to be intimidated and to remain calm. Jona Senilagakali was appointed as caretaker prime minister until the Great Council of Chiefs restores executive powers to President Ratu Josefa Iloilo.