16 Jul 2008

New Zealand Foreign Minister says Fiji logistically able to hold election

9:50 am on 16 July 2008

The New Zealand government says Fiji could logistically carry out elections as soon as early next year, but lacks the political will to do so.

The Foreign Affairs Minister, Winston Peters, will continue meeting with officials in Fiji today as part of the Pacific Forum's Ministerial Contact Group evaluation of the country's progress towards democracy.

Mr Peters says the interim administration in Fiji is pushing to have trade sanctions imposed by this country lifted, but that won't happen until the Government sees a credible pathway towards an election.

"Of course it canbe done. it could be done within eight months - no doubt about it. But, you have to have the personnell in place, you have to have the systems in place, and you have got to make up your mind to hold an election on a given date."