30 Jun 2011

Fiji foreign minister chides NZ and Australia over election demands

1:25 pm on 30 June 2011

Fiji's interim foreign minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, says the stubborn dogmatic insistence on early elections as a panacea to all of Fiji's deep-seated problems reflected the lack of understanding by Australia and New Zealand.

Ratu Inoke has told the Fiji Sun newspaper that the regime's roadmap to democracy has been accepted by countries within and outside of the Pacific.

The interim government reneged on its earlier commitment to hold elections in 2009, and now says elections will be held in September 2014.

Ratu Inoke says the efforts of Australia and New Zealand to influence the words and actions of countries which recognise Fiji's Roadmap smacks of a superiority complex that assumes they know better than any other country what is good for Fiji.

He says this also runs roughshod over the notion of a partnership among equals.

There is, however, doubt over the fairness of the planned elections as the interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimamara, has said some people in the SDL, the National Federation Party and the Labour Party will not be allowed to seek office in 2014.