8 Jun 2007

Australian and NZ diplomats in Suva welcome election timetable report

10:07 am on 8 June 2007

Australian and New Zealand diplomats based in Suva and the deposed prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, have welcomed the report of an independent team which says elections can be held well before 2010.

The Australian high commissioner, James Batley, says Canberra would be willing to provide the sort of assistance mentioned in the report to help take the process forward.

The New Zealand high commissioner, Michael Green, says the report is a very clear statement of the technical requirements and would be very helpful to people in Fiji who have to run the elections.

Meanwhile, the deposed prime minister, Laisenia Qarase has welcomed the report saying he has always believed that elections could be held much earlier.

Speaking to Fiji TV last night from his home island, Mr Qarase said he would like to see the elections even earlier than November next year because the budget for the following year would be drawn up in November.