27 Jan 2009

Pacific Forum leaders announce new conditions for Fiji over election timetable

10:22 pm on 27 January 2009

The Pacific Islands Forum has announced that targetted measures will be taken against Fiji unless the interim regime nominates an election date by the first of May.

The announcement came after a special Forum leaders meeting on the Fiji situation held in Papua New Guinea where the leaders also concluded that Fiji must hold elections by the end of this year.

If the interim government doesn't meet the terms, it'll be suspended from all leadership meetings of the forum.

It will also be prevented from receiving benefits that come from belonging to the forum, including new financial aid.

Suspending Fiji was one of the options up for discussion in response to the Fiji interim regime's refusal to hold elections as promised to the leaders in 2007 but that option hasn't been taken at this meeting.

Meanwhile back in Suva, Fiji's interim Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama reiterated today that electoral reform as mapped out by the People's Charter must take place before any election can go ahead, and it doesn't matter if that takes 5 to 10 years.