31 Jan 2007

FIJI NGO pushes for earlier return to democracy than planned

4:11 pm on 31 January 2007

The Citizens Constitutional Forum in Fiji is pushing for an earlier return to democracy than that planned by the interim administration.

The CCF's Jone Dakuvula was speaking after representatives of the NGO community had a first meeting with members of the interim cabinet, including Commodore Frank Bainimarama, who is now the interim prime minister.

Mr Dakuvula says he asked the Commodore to end the mistreatment by the army of some NGO members who had been critical of the coup and the military-installed administration.

He believes CCF members have avoided being mistreated or detained because they haven't taken a strident approach via the media in their opposition to the coup, preferring to work behind the scenes.

Mr Dakuvula says people need to be constructive if they have something to say and respect the interim administration.

"They do want to have a clear pathway to democracy. It's just a question for them of how much can be accomplished in what time to get to that. And, they're not sure whether it's going to take two years or five years and we are urging them to try and do it in two years."

The CCF's Jone Dakuvula.