29 Sep 2008

Fiji interim PM says he has done his best to adhere to constitution

12:02 pm on 29 September 2008

Fiji's interim prime minister has told the United Nations he wants to rebuild his country and has confirmed that no elections will take place early next year as promised.

In an address to the UN General Assembly in New York, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, said he had expected the world to rally behind his plans for Fiji, but "regrettably this has not happened".

He told the UN the Fiji must not repeat the mistake of trying to rebuild again on a foundation of sand, which could be washed away by what he called the evils of self-interest, incompetence, intolerance and greed.

"To-date, my Government, which remains in effective control of governance in Fiji, has done all within its power to adhere to the current Constitution. We recognize that this is the supreme law of our nation. At the same time, we have come to also recognize that the very foundation, on which we have been seeking to build our nation, has been shaky and weak."

He also told the United Nations that travel sanctions instituted since the coup were harming his country.

In what appeared to be a reference to moves by Australia and New Zealand for the United Nations to suspend Fiji soldiers from peacekeeping duties, the Commodore spoke of "undue external influence" being brought to bear.

He said he hoped that the opportunity will be extended to us to participate in new peacekeeping missions