26 Nov 2008

Fiji's election office says it's unlikely elections will be held by March next year

8:11 am on 26 November 2008

Fiji's election office says it's unlikely the country will hold elections by March next year.

Pacific Islands Forum leaders decided at their summit in Niue that Fiji must stick to the timetable of having elections in March next year, despite the interim government saying that's not viable.

The interim government's 2009 budget makes no mention of the elections next year.

And the Fiji elections office says it has only received 2.1 million US dollars for next year, instead of the 10.8 million it asked for.

Its spokesperson, Diane Waller, says it'll meet with the finance ministry to talk about the allocation, but she believes the funds will only cater for the basic operations.

There are currently discussions about whether the country should change its electoral system and Ms Waller says its outcome will determine when elections will be held.

"Whatever system is chosen, it'll be at least 12 to 15 months after that decision has been made. March 2009 is not on the agenda."

Diane Waller, spokesperson for Fiji's elections office.