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Fiji's army deployed after uncertain election in coup-prone nation

After promising to respect democratic outcome, role of army suddenly unclear

People's Alliance Party leader Sitiveni Rabuka speaks to the press after Fiji's election in Suva on Dec. 17. He struck a coalition deal with two smaller parties to dislodge incumbent Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama.   © AP

AUCKLAND -- Fiji began the week celebrating the possibility of a new democratic government after 16 years under Prime Minister Voreqe "Frank" Bainimarama. But the mood has since turned fearful as the army joined police, at the old leadership's urging, to contend with claimed racial unrest.

On Thursday afternoon, Police Commissioner Brig. Gen. Sitiveni Qiliho announced "a decision has been reached to call in the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) to assist Police with the maintenance of security and stability that we have enjoyed."

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