22 Jul 2008

Pacific forum chair asks Fiji to explain election holdup

10:26 am on 22 July 2008

The Pacific Islands forum chair, Tonga's Prime Minister, Dr Feleti Sevele, has asked for an explaination from Fiji why it can't hold elections within the agreed timeline.

Fiji's interim Prime Minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, has told Radio Fiji that the March 2009 election time line is unachievable, because much needed electoral reforms cannot be implemented in time.

Dr Sevele says the understanding the forum leaders has was that Fiji would hold elections within the provisions of the current constitution.

"Obviously if they are not able to hold it, then they have to explain to the forum leaders, and in particular the meeting in Niue next month, as to the exact reason why they can't."

Dr Feleti Sevele says he fully expects the interim Government to honour its commitment.