2 Sep 2009

NZ PM says Bainimarama calling the shots on democracy in Fiji

4:46 pm on 2 September 2009

The New Zealand Prime Minister John Key says there is nothing more his country's Government can do to encourage Fiji to return to democracy.

Fiji has now been suspended from the Commonwealth, meaning it will lose out on funding and technical assistance, and will not be allowed to participate in Commonwealth meetings or sporting events.

Mr Key says hopefully Commodore Frank Bainimarama will now realise the weight of international opinion is against him, and he should restore democracy.

But he says New Zealand will not introduce economic sanctions against Fiji.

"We've tried to do our best, stood shoulder to shoulder with other leaders in the Pacific and the Commonwealth to try and enable some pressure to be put on Frank Bainimarama but in the end he's calling the shots."

The New Zealand Prime Minister John Key.

The leader of the opposition Labour Party, Phil Goff says Fiji's suspension from the Commonwealth is unfortunate, but it was inevitable.