1 Mar 2007

Commonwealth Secretary-General urges early election in Fiji

11:19 am on 1 March 2007

The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Don McKinnon, says Fiji's military ruler should return the country to democracy earlier than he plans.

Mr McKinnon says the interim Fiji prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, does not need three years to prepare for fresh elections.

"Clearly from the information I'm getting from within Fiji, elections could be held, certainly within twelve months, and you would expect to see a comprehensive and updated electoral roll."

Mr McKinnon says Commodore Bainimarama's wish to change the Fiji's voting system and constituency boundaries shows he wants to influence the outcome of an election.

The Secretary-General says no country will own and respect its electoral system unless its people feel they have been part of a decision making process to get that system.