11 Feb 2009

Fiji Labour Party leader says technical team may not meet Forum's May deadline

7:57 am on 11 February 2009

The leader of the Fiji Labour Party, Mahendra Chaudhry, says he doesn't think the United Nations/Commonwealth Secretariat team currently in the country will be able to help the interim government set an election date by May.

The team is meeting with political parties, stakeholders and the interim government on the Proposed President's Forum.

Mr Chaudhry says the team seems to be keen to start work by March.

But he says he's not sure if it will be able to meet the Pacific Forum's May deadline, because its purpose is to discuss the issues getting in the way of an early election.

"One of the key issues it will devote time to is the propose electoral reforms. So I can't see discussions being concluded before May One. It may, I'm not saying it can't be done but it is subject to that so it all depends to what extent the pacific islands forum will give recognition to this process."

Mahendra Chaudhry says it is in the interest of everyone to see the president's forum convened as soon as possible, but can't say if everyone involved is sincere.