Saturday, July 19, 2008

No Election for Fiji in 2009 - No Surprise

No election
Saturday, July 19, 2008

THERE will be no election in March next year as promised by the interim Prime Minister in Tonga last year.
In a radio interview yesterday, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama said the initial plan by Cabinet was to have an election in 2010, even though electoral reforms were not discussed at that time.
Now, the regime is firm that it would have electoral reforms first before any election takes place in Fiji.
Interim Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum confirmed Commodore Bainimarama's stand when asked yesterday.
"The position taken by the Prime Minister on this issue is important," Mr Sayed- Khaiyum said.
"We are going to have electoral reforms first before any election takes place."
Commodore Bainimarama did not answer his mobile phone when called several times by this newspaper.
Political parties voiced their disappointment when told of the interim PM's plan.
Ousted prime minister Laisenia Qarase said it was one of the most disappointing announcements from the interim PM.
"It is one of the most unfortunate statements I have ever heard," he said.
"I know there will be a lot of anger from the people since we were all promised about elections next year. The international community and the forum were informed about this promise of election.
"But this has come as a shock and a disappointment."
National Federation Party secretary Parmod Rae said the interim Prime Minister is always changing his tune on elections.
"He's done that a lot. Who knows tomorrow he might say we are going to have elections again in 2009," Mr Rae said.
"It's no use running after him asking him to stick to his promise of an election next year."

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