19 Jun 2008

Fiji Forum group to reconsider interim regime stance

3:24 pm on 19 June 2008

The Pacific Forum Working Group on Fiji says the Interim Government's changing position on elections will require further consideration by Forum members at the political level.

The Working Group held its thirtieth meeting in Suva attended by senior officials from Australia, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Tuvalu.

Megan Whelan reports.

"The Working Group welcomed the appointment of a Supervisor of Elections and the interim government's progress towards full staffing and resourcing of the Office of the Supervisor."

It was advised by the interim Attorney General that the interim government's election timetable was yet to be finalised and would depend upon the progress of the electoral reform process over the next few months.In a statement the Group notes the interim government's present position represents a modification of Fiji's commitments to Forum Leaders and Foreign Ministers to conduct elections by March 2009.It also discussed recent events in Fiji, particularly in relation to media freedom and responsibilities, and noted concerns expressed by the Chair of the Fiji Media Council about the lack of transparency surrounding the deportation of two senior media figures in 2008.The Working Group will hold its next meeting on July the 3rd.