27 Apr 2009

Fiji Labour Party wants return to democracy to fight economic downturn

7:47 am on 27 April 2009

Fiji's Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, has called on the military leader Frank Bainimarama to return the country to democracy.

Mr Chaudhry, who served as finance minister in the interim government until last August, has told the newspaper, The Australian, that the abrogation of the constitution was tragic and unfortunate.

He says Fiji has severe problems with the economy, and the dollar has been devalued by 20 per cent.

Mr Chaudhry says the instability is driving down the economy and contributing to racial tensions.

To address these issues, he says Fiji needs to restore political stability.

Mr Chaudhry's Labour Party is seeking talks with Commodore Frank Bainimarama to resume negotiations for democratic elections to be held as soon as possible.

However, the interim regime says it won't hold elections before 2014.