2 Mar 2010

Fiji campaigner claims democracy demand has impact

1:18 pm on 2 March 2010

An Australia-based Fiji democracy campaigner says a petition he organised calling for the military regime to hold elections this year is having a positive impact.

Suli Daunitutu helped compile the petition which he says has the backing of hundreds of thousands and has the support of Fiji political parties and churches.

It was presented to the Fiji interim government late last month but dismissed by Commodore Frank Bainimarama as toilet paper.

But Mr Daunitutu says at the weekend members of the leading political party, the SDL, were dragged into military barracks and abused, and he says police have told him this was prompted by the petition getting through security.

"This all came about because the petition had gone unnoticed by army intelligence. All of a sudden there was a man at the Prime Minister's office handing over a list of 640 thousand people trying to get elections. And he was very angry about that so the effects were very positive."

Suli Daunitutu.

The interim Government could not be reached for comment on why the politicians had been taken to the military barracks.