27 Jan 2009

New Zealand's prime minister says Forum should apply pressure to Fiji

9:50 am on 27 January 2009

Pacific Islands Forum leaders will today consider targeted measures in response to Fiji's failure to hold elections by March.

A special Forum leaders meeting in Papua New Guinea will this afternoon discuss a report on what Fiji's interim regime has done towards restoring democracy after the military ousted the elected government in 2006.

While Fiji's Forum membership suspension is an option, the leaders will have to find a consensus stance in their bid to coax Fiji towards democracy.

The New Zealand prime minister, John Key, says it is up to the Forum, rather than the Commonwealth or the United Nations, to apply pressure.

"This is the correct body to be sending a message to Fiji and to Frank Bainimarama that the position he is in where he is a interim government where he is refusing to restore democracy is unacceptable, and that that position needs to change, and I would argue very strongly that this body more than any other Commonwealth or the United Nations is the right body to be dealing with the situation."

John Key.