31 Jul 2011

Former Fiji officer doubts elections will be held

12:01 pm on 31 July 2011

A former Fiji army officer who has fled his homeland doubts there will be elections there in 2014.

Lieutenant-Colonel Ratu Tevita Mara left Fiji in May after being charged with sedition and treason.

He is visiting New Zealand to meet Foreign Affairs officials.

Colonel Mara told Sunday Morning that it's unlikely that Commodore Frank Bainimarama will follow through on his government's plan to hold general elections in three years.

He said a major reason Commodore Bainimarama won't hold elections is because it could lead to him being charged for his involvement in the coup in 2000.

Colonel Mara also said that he believes if elections do happen, they will not be free and fair.

He said New Zealand should widen its sanctions against Fiji to help bring an end to the regime.

However, he said, even then it would take a hugely significant event for the Fiji people to rise up.