20 Feb 2007

Fiji cabinet meets today to chart path to democracy

8:34 am on 20 February 2007

Fiji's interim cabinet will hold a special meeting today to set a roadmap to democracy.

Radio Legend reports that the interim prime minister, Commodore Bainimarama, has called the meeting to discuss setting realistic targets before deciding on a timeframe for the next elections.

Today's cabinet meeting will consider a time frame for a national census, reforms in the Elections Office, voter registration and education, and how to remove race-based voting from the Electoral Act.

The issue of whether the Constitution can and should be reviewed to remove race-based voting will also be under discussion.

Today's cabinet meeting comes just as the report of a Forum Eminent Persons Group which visited Fiji last month has been made public by the regional news service Pacnews.

The report calls on Commodore Bainimarama to step down and hand over power to a civilian, and for general elections to be held in 18 to 24 months.

Commodore Bainimarama is reported to be studying the report which is also likely to be discussed at today's cabinet meting.