20 Jun 2007

Fiji's former opposition leader welcomes cabinet's endorsement of report for early elections

2:19 pm on 20 June 2007

Fiji's former opposition leader, Mick Beddoes, is welcoming the announcement by the interim regime that it accepts, in principle, a report saying elections could be held in 2009.

The interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, says this commitment should be welcomed by the international community which should come forward with their side of the deal and normalise relations to help Fiji.

But, the New Zealand Prime Minister, Helen Clark, says Fiji must prove it wants to return to democracy before its stated intentions can be taken seriously.

Mr Beddoes says, however, the announcement is positive.

"Any forward movement from the interim administration towards democratic rule is a welcome move. The fact that the cabinet has endorsed the actual recommendation, in principle, has to be viewed at face value. And, one would have to assume that the interim administation is supporting it with serious and good intentions.'"

Mick Beddoes.