28 Jan 2009

All political leaders keen for dialogue, says ousted Fiji PM

8:09 pm on 28 January 2009

Fiji's ousted Prime Minister says all key political leaders are keen to participate in political dialogue, towards holding election and the sooner the better.

A special meeting of the Pacific Islands forum leaders has told Fiji to annouce an election timetable by May the first, and to hold an election by the end of the year, or face sanctions.

Laisenia Qarase says the forum could have been tougher, but the action is realistic.

He says it is now up to the interim regime to comply, which would not be difficult if it has the political will.

"It now becomes very clear, that he does not want to return Fiji to parliamentary democracy with that in mind I think Fiji needs a lot more pressure from the international community and from within. We have to persuade [Commodore] Bainimarama that he must take Fiji to parlimentary democracy that is the only viable option that is available."