New major opposition party leader no threat: Fijian PM

Suva: Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has said that new major opposition party leader Sitiveni Rabuka poses no threat to the ruling Fiji First party, the media reported on Wednesday. Bainimarama said Rabuka was not yet a member of parliament but only the leader of a political party, Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday. The Prime Minister, a former military leader who has been at the helm since 2006 when he successfully led a coup, was responding to a statement by two opposition MPs urging both party leaders to engage in a public debate. "Who is Rabuka? He is just a leader of a party; to me he is nothing but probably when he stands for elections then maybe that will be opportune time for him to come and have a debate with me," Bainimarama said. Rabuka, the instigator of two military coups that shook Fiji in 1987 and who was later democratically elected the third Prime Minister of the Pacific island nation, was chosen last month as party leader for the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA). Rabuka served as head of government between 1992 and 1999.