21 Jul 2008

Going back on election commitments said to be embarrassing for Fiji

5:49 am on 21 July 2008

Fiji's former opposition leader, Mick Beddoes, says going back on a commitment made to Pacific Island leaders and the international community to hold elections by March next year is embarrassing for the nation.

Mr Beddoes told the Fiji Times that by calling off next years elections, interim Prime Minister Commodore, Frank Bainimarama ,has sent out the message that Fiji could not honour any of its commitments.

The chairman of the Forum, the Tongan Prime Minister, Dr Feleti Sevele, has said Fiji's interim Government must show it is genuinely committed to agreements reached over elections.

Commodore Bainimarama was told at the Forum last year to remove the phrase 'in principle' if he wanted the international community to believe he was serious about elections next year.

In a radio interview over the weekend, Commodore Bainimarama, said Dr Sevele insisted he remove the phrase because it gave the international community the perception that the interim Government was not going to hold elections.

He said that the March 2009 date "was added in and written in blood by everyone in the international community".