Friday, June 06, 2008

Forum wants no delay in election

Forum wants no delay in election
Friday, June 06, 2008
The People's Charter process in Fiji must not delay or distract the interim Government from holding an election in the first quarter of 2009, says Peter Forau, the deputy secretary general of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
He was conveying the decision of the Forum Foreign Affairs Ministers at their last meeting in Auckland in March to senior regional bureaucrats attending the Forum Regional Security Meeting in Suva.
"It is important to reiterate that as far as the Forum leaders are concerned, there is no other alternative to the timeline for elections and in the spirit of regional cooperation, there is an expectation that this timeline will be honoured," he said.
"Ministers reinforced the importance of the undertaking made by the interim Prime Minister to leaders that the outcome of the election would be accepted by the interim Government and the (Republic of) Fiji Military Forces," Mr Forau said.
The joint Forum-Fiji Working Group established to engage with Fiji's interim government has met 29 times in Suva, and is of the view that "despite some delays and difficulties to date, the agreed election timing of March 2009 remains achievable".
PACNEWS understands the Ministerial Contact Group on Fiji formed after the Auckland meeting, comprising Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu is expected to convene in Suva before the August meeting of Pacific Leaders in Niue.

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