12 Jul 2009

Melanesian support for Fiji leader dismays democracy group

6:47 am on 12 July 2009

A Fiji democracy group says it is disappointed the leaders of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu have given support to Fiji's interim leader Frank Bainimarama.

After meeting Friday with the leaders of the countries which form the Melanesian Spearhead Group, Commodore Bainimarama won their support for the lifting of the suspension of Fiji from the Pacific Islands Forum.

The Melanesian countries plan to take Fiji's case to the Pacific Islands Forum at next month's meeting in Cairns.

The Prime Ministers also praised Commodore Bainimarama's roadmap for Fiji, which will see him in power for five more years.

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, told the ABC he has been convinced that some of Mr Bainimarama's plans were good for Fiji.

The president of the Australian-based Fiji Democracy Movement, Usaia Waqatairewa, says the people of Fiji feel betrayed by the Melanesian leaders' failure to stand up for them.

He says those country's leaders should not be respecting the Commodore, who gained power through a coup.