29 Apr 2009

Fiji expects Forum to drop suspension threat

3:11 pm on 29 April 2009

Fiji's interim government says it doesn't expect to be suspended from the Pacific Islands Forum.

A special Forum summit to deal with Fiji in January issued an ultimatum to Suva to announce a 2009 election date by May the 1st of face partial suspension.

But the interim attorney-general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, has told Fijilive that the interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, has informed the Forum of recent developments in Fiji.

In 2007, Commodore Bainimarama promised election by March this year but now he says this will not happen until September 2014 as the interim government wants to change the electoral system.

The Forum is yet to say whether it will retract its expulsion threat following the latest lobbying by the Fiji interim regime.

Australia has said it wants to maintain the Forum stance adopted in January.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand prime minister, John Key, says he expects Fiji to be suspended.

"In the discussions that I've had with other Pacific leaders, or the advice I've received, the discussions I've had with Neroni Slade when he was here early in the week, I've got no reason to believe they'll be anything other than suspended from the Forum on May the 1st."

John Key