4 Nov 2013

Former leaders dispute Fiji election claims

8:42 am on 4 November 2013

Two former prime ministers of Fiji say claims by the government that next year's promised elections will be the country's first truly democratic ones, are laughable.

The official website of the elections' office states that the country's first democratic parliamentary elections will be held next year and prime minister, Frank Bainimarama, used his address to the United Nations General Assembly in September to reiterate the claim.

Sitiveni Rabuka, who was elected prime minister in 1992 and 1994, says the regime claim is nonsense.

The Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry, who was elected prime minister in 1999, says the claim is simply untrue.

"Well it is of course trying to tell the rest of the world that in the past we did not have democratic elections, it is ridiculous of course, it's just propaganda."

Mahendra Chaudhry says if anything next year's promised elections will be grossly undemocratic with the regime controlling all aspects of it including appointments to the electoral commission.