9 Jul 2013

Fiji says Australia and NZ need to get beyond politics

5:12 am on 9 July 2013

Fiji's Attorney General and minister for elections says Australia and New Zealand's aid towards the democratic elections next year needs to be apolitical.

Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum says he has been told by Australia and New Zealand officials that the government needs to help build a credible political opposition in Fiji prior to the elections.

But he says many other countries have pledged donations for elections without those demands, which he says are too political.

Mr Sayed Khaiyum says the coverage of the recent United States million dollar donation is overrated, considering PNG has given 11 million US dollars and many other countries are helping as well.

He says the funding should be apolitical.

"This is not their job, it's not their responsibility nor is it their business. We don't tell you what sort of opposition you need to have nor should Australia, nor do we tell Australia. So what we have said and made is emphatically clear to them is their assistance to the elections office needs to have apolitical approach. The elections office needs to be a apolitical institution."

Fiji's Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum