COMMANDER of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces Brigadier General Mosese Tikoitoga says the military will not be involved in the preparation towards and during the general election on September 17.
Addressing navy and military officers at his first military parade at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks in Nabua in the iTaukei language yesterday, Brig-Gen Tikoitoga said it would be the responsibility of the Fiji Police Force to ensure the democratic process was conducted smoothly and honestly.
He said it had already been made known to representatives from various embassies around the country, in their meetings, that the military would not involve itself in the preparatory stages, nor during the election.
He said it was clear that those would be the roles solely of the police force and that media houses had been informed that it was important that politicians did not use the military's name during campaigns. The commander said he ought to reiterate that it was not right for any military personnel to take up a position with any political party, or to be involved in campaigns.
He clarified, however, that this did not remove the right of military personnel to become a member of any political party, or to listen to politicians during their campaigns. Brig-Gen Tikoitoga stressed that it was important that military personnel knew the Constitution. He said he had told the media that the military was ready to respect and uphold the Constitution.