13 Sep 2011

Fiji group says Bainimarama's popularity means he should lift PER

6:40 am on 13 September 2011

A leading civil society group in Fiji says if the interim regime is so confident of Fiji people's support, it should lift the Public Emergency Regulations.

Reverend Akuila Yabaki of the Citizens' Constitutional Forum was responding to news Commodore Frank Bainimarama received a 65 percent approval rating in a poll conducted by Australia's Lowy Institute.

Reverend Yabaki says the opportunity to take concrete steps towards democratic elections is now staring the Commodore in the face.

"If Bainimarama is on a wave of popularity, I think he should be positive about that, lift the PER. They were going to lift the PER anyway but the fact that they have not lifted it - is it based on what, based on a sense of fear of what might happen?"

Reverend Yabaki says civic education needs to start urgently as there are potentially 200 thousand young people who'll be eligible to vote.