21 Nov 2009

Fiji's Bainimarama says parts of 1997 Constitution to be ressurected by decree

11:36 am on 21 November 2009

Fiji's interim leader, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, says parts of Fiji's abrogated 1997 Constitution dealing with the rule of law, the judiciary, human rights and democratic principles will be resurrected by decree.

According to a government statement Commodore Bainimarama told European Commission officials in Brussels his government will uphold the rule of law, strengthen the judiciary, and that it has respect for human rights and democratic principles.

This comes after the interim regime dumped the constitution last April, sacked the country's judges and delayed calling elections for another five years.

It has also stifled media freedom since staging a coup three years ago, faced widespread accusations of human rights abuses and claims the country's elected leaders are terrorists.

In September the European Union extended a freeze on millions of dollars of development aid to Fiji, because of its delay in holding elections.

This week's EC briefing reportedly included outlines from Commodore Bainimarama on how his regime would begin implementing reforms from next year.

The interim regime says its working to resume formal consultations with the EC.