The Green Party supported the strong stand the Government had taken so far, and called for continuing pressure to back up constitutional authorities.
“The dragging on of the hostage crisis is encouraging dissident politicians and elements of the army to push for Mahendra Chaudhry’s resignation as Prime Minister,” said Mr Locke.
“The army seems to be divided and is contributing little to containing the hostage takers.They’ve left the manning of road blocks to unarmed or lightly armed police who were apparently unable to prevent new gunmen joining the armed hostage takers, and it is disconcerting that a police car took George Speight on a tour of Suva early this morning.”
Mr Locke questioned why the army did not stop the looting which broke out in Suva after the storming of Parliament House on Friday, which caused major damage to the commercial district.
“As a good Pacific neighbour, New Zealand should commit to sizeable reconstruction aid to rebuild the centre of Suva,” said Mr Locke.
Keith Locke MP: 04 470 6709
Gina Dempster, Press secretary: 04 470 6723 or 021 1265 289
©Copyright 2000 The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand