23 Jan 2006

Fiji leader calls for international observers ahead of election

11:33 am on 23 January 2006

The leader of Fiji's United People's Party has called for international observers to ensure the integrity of the electoral process.

The Daily Post reports that Mick Beddoes has made the call after alleging that enumerators are registering the minority groups that he represents as indigenous Fijians.

Mr Beddoes says he has spoken to people in Suva, Lautoka, Labasa, Taveuni and Nadi who were encouraged to register as Fijians.

He says this was not an accident or a misunderstanding.

Mr Beddoes says international observers from nearby Australia and New Zealand should be brought in Fiji immediately to ensure there is no manipulation of the electoral process.

He says the state cannot be trusted to act fairly or impartially in this matter because there are many other incidents that highlight its bias.