17 Jul 2008

NZ foreign minister restates Fiji election call

12:58 pm on 17 July 2008

The New Zealand foreign minister, Winston Peters, has restated his call for Fiji to hold elections by March.

Mr Peters was part of a Pacific Islands Forum delegation to meet Fiji leaders this week amid regional efforts to restore democratic government in Fiji by March following the 2006 military coup.

Fiji's interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, has signalled that conditions are not right for Fiji to go to the polls next year as he plans to revamp institutions and change the electoral system.

Mr Peters says elections are warranted as Fiji is now run by ministers who don't have a mandate from the people.

"Even the Commodore has to admit he believes in elections, doesn't he. He says he believes in democracy. Well then, let's have an election."

Winston Peters