4 Dec 2008

Diplomats' body maintains Fiji may hold elections by March despite regime's denials

4:15 pm on 4 December 2008

The Forum/Fiji Working Group on the Situation in Fiji continues to suggest that elections can be held in Fiji within four month.

In a press statement, it makes no mention that the Fiji interim government has repeatedly ruled out holding an election in 2009.

The statement from the Working Group, which is a Pacific Islands Forum body aiming to steer Fiji back to democracy, follows its 34th meeting in just over a year.

The Group was told by two independent interlocutors to Fiji's political leaders' dialogue about progress towards a Fiji meeting now expected later this month.

The Forum Group has also confirmed that the Forum's Ministerial Contact Group will visit Fiji on December the 10th to the 12th.

After the last such encounter, the Forum foreign ministers said elections could go ahead if there was a political will.

An emergency Forum summit is to be held in Papua New Guinea next month, with Fiji facing a threat of suspension from the body unless it meets its commitments to hold elections by March.