3 Feb 2009

Commonwealth group says Fiji's interim govt's move won't achieve what it wants

12:18 pm on 3 February 2009

The Commonwealth Local Government Forum says that abolishing locally elected government won't achieve the intended clean up reform campaign the interim military let government is hoping for.

Twelve mayors and their municipal councils have been scrapped and in their place town clerks have been named chief executive officers who will be assisted by two government appointed special administrators.

Suva based Terry Parker, the Regional advisor of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum, says last year they had input into the government's reform review process on municipal councils.

Mr Parker says they encouraged democratic principals to be upheld, and for all mayors and councillors to remain in place until the next election in October.

"It really doesn't serve to empower people, particularly at grassroots level, to have a voice in the way their local community governments are how office is run. We accept that their terms of office have now ended but we do call on the interim government to reinstate elections as soon as possible."

The Regional advisor of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum, Terry Parker