5 Aug 2009

Former Forum chair calls on Fiji's people to challenge regime

1:42 pm on 5 August 2009

The outgoing chair of the Pacific Islands Forum has called on the people of Fiji to rise to challenge the military regime's undemocratic rule.

Fiji was suspended from the Forum in May after failing to heed leaders' calls to set a deadline for elections.

Toke Talagi, who is Niue's Premier, told the opening ceremony of the Pacific Islands Forum in Australia that the organisation stands ready to help Fiji return to democracy but it will not accept a prolonged rule by the interim regime.

"Perhaps citizens of Fiji must now rise to the challenge their undemocratic rule of the military regime and restore democracy for the sake of the future of their children. After all the people of Fiji must take responsibility for the reconstruction and the future and their own destiny."

Toke Talagi says the regime's indication that elections will not be held until 2014 is simply unacceptable.