1 May 2009

New Zealand's Labour Party says Forum has no choice but to suspend Fiji

10:52 am on 1 May 2009

The leader of New Zealand's opposition Labour Party, Phil Goff, says the Pacific Islands Forum has no choice but to suspend Fiji.

It now appears certain that will happen automatically at midnight tonight.

The regional grouping set today as the deadline for Fiji to announce a credible date for elections, and the New Zealand Government says suspension appears inevitable.

Fiji's President has made it clear elections will not be held until 2014, which Forum leaders consider unacceptable.

Labour's Phil Goff says the Forum must proceed with the suspension.

"Not to take that action in face of the provocative actions of the military regime would really undermine the creditability of the Forum, I think they have no choice but to act"

Phil Goff says it would also be inappropriate to keep the forum's Suva-based secretariat in Fiji, if suspension goes ahead.