14 Oct 2013

Fiji unionists and parties want hearing on election progress

2:47 pm on 14 October 2013

Political parties and unions in Fiji say they want a visiting top level European Union delegation to hear their views on the country's progress towards elections.

Top EU officials are in Fiji for what's described as high level political dialogue and a meeting of sugar producing countries.

The EU says it is the first such visit for seven years and follow its decision last month to extend its suspension of aid to Fiji for another eighteen months as it assesses progress towards elections.

Daniel Urai of the Fiji Trades Union Congress says it is important the EU hears the views of groups other than the government in assessing whether the process towards elections is fair and transparent.

The FTUC and the Labour Party are requesting meetings with the delegation.

Marcus Cornaro, of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Development Co-operation, says he is pleased to visit Fiji to witness the momentum driving it towards a return to democracy.

He is meeting with the prime minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama this afternoon.