6 Mar 2009

New Zealand PM says Fiji's leader is delivering his country a poverty passport

10:38 am on 6 March 2009

The New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, says by failing to allow elections, Fiji's interim prime minister is delivering his country a passport to poverty.

The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, which met in London this week, has set Fiji a six-month deadline to hold elections or face suspension.

But Fiji's ruler, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, says other countries will not have any influence on the Pacific nation's timetable for a return to democracy following his 2006 coup.

The Prime Minister, John Key, says Fiji's economy is going backwards, and unless democracy is restored there will be little confidence in the economy.

Mr Key says everyday people in Fiji are paying the price for Commodore Bainimarama's refusal to hold elections.