10 May 2008

Fiji's President asks for international assistance

9:39 am on 10 May 2008

Fiji's President has asked the Commonwealth and United Nations to help fund a controversial forum that will determine a new electoral system for the country.

The Fiji interim government says President Ratu Josefa Iloilo had sought support and funding for the political forum, but it did not indicate how much money would be required.

It says the forum was needed to discuss steps toward a reform of Fiji's electoral system so it conformed with the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

Plans for the controversial forum come despite anger from the governments of Australia and New Zealand, which have called on Fiji to honour a commitment not to change its political system before an election expected early next year.