31 Aug 2009

Fiji regime says it won't be swayed by Commonwealth suspension

3:21 pm on 31 August 2009

Fiji's interim regime says nothing will sway it from its roadmap to elections, despite its imminent suspension from the Commonwealth.

In July, the Commonwealth ministerial action group issued a deadline of September the first for Fiji to reactivate the President's Political Dialogue Forum or be fully suspended from the grouping.

But the regime's spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Neumi Leweni says the interim government's 2014 election date will not change.

"The decision by CMAG is is something that hasn't been communicated to us, whether it is going to happen today or not, but what I can tell you, and I can confirm to you that nothing's going to change, whatever... this is the roadmap. We will let you know if there is any communique that needs to be put out once we've been informed formally what is going to happen."

A commmonwealth team is likely to visit Fiji in the next week, however the secretariat says the visit will not affect the suspension ultimatum.

Fiji's ousted SDL party says inviting the Commonwealth to visit just before the deadline is a hallmark of the interim regime.

The SDL's general secretary, Peceli Kinivuwai, says the Commonwealth has so far been lenient with Fiji, but its time for it to make the country pay for its actions.

Whenever there is something drastic that is out there on the horizon, they [the interim regime] make their actions portray that they are genuine in trying to do something that will force something good for Fiji. But so far nothing has eventuated. We have not had any signs of going back to elections.