16 Mar 2009

Senior PNG figure could chair Fiji's Presidential Dialogue Forum

6:48 am on 16 March 2009

It is being reported in Fiji that a former Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, Sir Rabbie Namaliu, may chair the upcoming President's Political Dialogue Forum.

The Fiji Live newsite reports that Sir Rabbie was identified by the United Nations and Commonwealth, and endorsed at the multi party political meeting held in Suva on Friday.

The UN and Commonwealth have put forward other names to assist Sir Rabbie chair the forum.

They are all from outside the Pacific region.

But two of Fiji's smaller political parties said the UN and Commonwealth's intention to help Fiji in mediating the President's Forum were not genuine.

A spokesman for the General Voters Party, Fred Caine said the names forwarded as mediators were new to them and questioned how they could help if they didn't understand the situation.

He said the Commonwealth and the UN want the President's Forum finished in 6 months and then for the country to go straight into elections without the necessary reforms.

A spokesman for the Conservative Alliance Matanitu Vanua, Ropate Sivo, said they did not want the people of Fiji to be fooled by the UN and the Commonwealth.

Mr Sivo told Fiji Live that the Party proposed that the Melanesian Spearhead Group should facilitate the meeting.