12 Feb 2010

Fiji's military dismisses pressure for elections before 2014 at UN in Geneva

9:47 am on 12 February 2010

Fiji's military has dismissed pressure for elections before 2014 as futile as it faced a barrage of calls for a swift return to democracy during a United Nations human rights council meeting in Geneva.

Delegation chief, Peceli Vocea, indicated during a UN review of the Pacific island's human rights record that a lifting of emergency laws may be imminent and the military government would press ahead with its "roadmap for democracy."

However he insisted that the roadmap, which targets a new constitution for September 2013 and elections a year later, could not be accelerated.

He also urged the international community to support Fiji in its endeavour to fulfill the desires of the interim government of Fiji's roadmap.

Military commander Commodore Frank Bainimarama overthrew Fiji's elected government in a 2006 coup.

Fiji was suspended from the 16-nation Pacific Islands Forum last May and from the Commonwealth in September over Commodore Bainimarama's broken promises to hold elections by March 2009.