3 Jul 2007

Fiji military led regime slams New Zealand's latest sanctions as hypocrisy

7:47 pm on 3 July 2007

Fiji's interim prime minister says the latest extension of travel bans by New Zealand is likely affect Fiji's return to democracy.

In a statement, Commodore Frank Bainimarama says the bans are hypocrisy of the highest order on the part of New Zealand.

He has questioned how New Zealand can claim to remain focused on encouraging a rapid return to democracy when it is hell bent on punishing credible people who are willing to help bring about change to take the country forward.

Commodore Bainimarama says if New Zealand aims to hurt Fiji and crumble its state institutions, then obviously it will affect the interim government's capability to return the country to parliamentary elections which the international community is demanding.

He says New Zealand and other countries putting pressure on Fiji should recognize the milestones achieved by the interim government.

Commodore Bainimarama maintains that his administration remains firmly committed to meeting the commitments they have given to Pacific Forum countries and the European Union.

Earlier the Commodore had told lawyers challenging his interim administration, that elections could put off to 2020.

Commodore Frank Bainimarama made the comment to Fijilive as a group of lawyers wants to petition the president to re-instate the chief justice.