28 Jan 2009

Fiji has new deadlines to organise and hold elections

6:28 am on 28 January 2009

A special meeting of Pacific Islands Forum leaders in Papua New Guinea has given the Fiji interim government new deadlines to organise and hold elections.

Yesterday's meeting was called after Fiji had reneged to hold elections by this March.

The leaders have now urged Fiji to meet a set of conditions culminating in an election before the end of this year.

Failure to so would invoke Forum sanctions.

The Forum chair, Niue's premier Toke Talagi, emerged from an extended retreat to announce that for the time being no action was being taken.

Mr Talagi however said that Fiji leaders were on notice of being suspended from top meetings.

To avoid being sanctioned under the Biketawa declaration, he says Fiji has to meet a series of conditions.

"The Fiji interim government nominates an election date by the 1st of May this year, 2009, two, the election is to be held before the end of 2009."

The Forum chair, Niue's premier Toke Talagi.