30 Jan 2013

More EU funding for Fiji elections dependent on "truly representative" Assembly

2:34 pm on 30 January 2013

The European Union is waiting until it sees the make up of Fiji's Constituent Assembly before it commits any more money to Fiji in the lead up to elections.

About 400,000 US dollars of EU funds has already been paid to the Constitution Commission and another one and a half million is in reserve for the soon to be announced Assembly and civic and voter education.

The charge d'affaires for the EU delegation in the Pacific, Johnny Engell-Hansen, says the EU was surprised at the recall of the Commission's draft constitution but it is reserving its position on developments until it sees the contents of the interim government's draft.

Mr Engell-Hansen says the EU has every hope the Assembly will be truly representative and the EU is following developments like the Political Parties Decree closely.

"Law and legality are of course important issues but it is very very important that there is an atmosphere created in which a truly democratic political debate will be able to take place."

Johnny Engell-Hansen of the EU delegation in Suva.