3 Aug 2009

Fiji leader dismisses ultimatum from Commonwealth

3:05 pm on 3 August 2009

The interim prime minister of Fiji has dismissed a warning by the Commonwealth that its membership will be suspended if elections are not held by next year.

Commodore Frank Bainimarama has told the Fijilive website that the threat will not distract him from the roadmap he has outlined for the country.

The Commonwealth Ministrial Action Group issued an ultimatum on Friday, saying Fiji will be suspended from the group from 1 September, if elections are not held by next year.

But Commodore Frank Bainimarama told Fijilive he will not be moved.

He also said Fiji has not received any letter from the Commonwealth to inform him of its decision.

The elected government in Fiji was overthrown by the military in December 2006. It was the fourth coup there since 1987.

Fiji was suspended from the Pacific Forum on 1 May, 2009. A six-month deadline was issued by the Commonwealth in March for the restoration of democracy.