The fate of the Fiji Times remains unknown as one potential buyer is eliminated and the illegal government appears twitchy over the possibility of the country's oldest paper actually closing.
The businessman Mahendra Patel, of Motibhai & Co Limited, has laughed off rumours his company wants to lead a buyout of Fiji Times' shares.
According to the Fiji Sun, Patel said the rumour was news to the company. "We did not even know that Fiji Times was on sale. We are not interested and there have been no negotiations whatsoever.”
It was thought the illegal government had someone in mind when it produced its media decree, with the controversial provision that foreign ownership of news organisations in Fiji be restricted to just ten per cent.
With the Fiji Times being owned by the Australian Murdoch corporate, News Ltd, the company is supposed to sell once the decree is introduced.
But who has the capital and the interest (especially, in these conditions) in buying the paper is the $64,000 thousand dollar question and is fuelling talk the illegal government's plans have backfired.
The junta's attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, has rushed to say the Fiji Times Limited doesn't need to close down its operations, saying the Fiji Times can stay but has to sell 90 percent of its shares.
The back pedalling suggests the big plan may be unravelling.
News Ltd has been silent, too, which has been taken by some to mean it's ready to turn the printers off.
Picture: File pic of a Fiji Times front page and Sayed-Khaiyum.