15 Apr 2009

Fiji military actions threaten regional stability, says Pacific Forum chair

10:21 pm on 15 April 2009

The chairman of the Pacific Islands Forum, Toke Talagi has condemned the actions of the military regime in Fiji and says it poses a real threat to stability in the region.

The Niuean Premier says he has written to other Pacific leaders asking whether they should take action against Fiji ahead of the the May the 1st deadline set by the Forum for Fiji to announce an election date.

Toke Talagi says the abrogration of the constitution and the reinstatement of the former government in Fiji contravenes the rule of law set down in last week's Court of Appeal ruling.

The Niuean Premier says he condemns the actions of the military regime.

"It is our belief that Fiji poses a real threat in terms of the stability of the region and we'd like Fiji to go back to democratic rule as quickly as possible. This is not withstanding the fact that the military regime has influenced the president to state that they won't hold elections for the next five years."

Toke Talagi says any suspension of Fiji from the Forum will be a move against the interim regime and not against the country.

He says he has great sympathy for the people of Fiji who are being muzzled by the military government.

Mr Talagi says the Forum will consider what assistance it can offer Kiribati and Tuvalu which have close ties with Fiji.