10 Jan 2013

Samoa PM says region needs Fiji return to democracy

3:31 pm on 10 January 2013

Samoa's Prime Minister says it is important to the rest of the region that Fiji returns to democracy, and the military goes back to the barracks.

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi was commenting on the confiscation of copies of the country's draft constitution by police.

He says the action calls into question the authorities' commitment to proceed with elections in 2014.

Tuilaepa says Fiji has been independent since 1970, until the military took over the reins of government.

"If we allow Bainimarama and his gangsters to continue on with what they are doing, there are also other island countries in the Pacific with their own armies that can easily emulate what these army boys in Fiji are doing."

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi says the regime's move are particularly ugly, given the assistance that has been provided to Fiji to help with the constitutional process.