Monday, October 13, 2008

Qarase pins hopes on President’s Forum

Qarase pins hopes on President’s Forum - 13/10/2008

Ousted Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase and the SDL party are still willing to be part of the Presidential Dialogue Forum, even after having their case dismissed by the High Court last week.Qarase told Fijilive that Interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama had been more positive and SDL hoped the military man would stand by his statement to have a dialogue forum by the end of this month.The deposed PM said Bainimarama had indicated that the terms of reference for the dialogue forum would be discussed in the first meeting and that the agenda would be much more than just having electoral reforms. He added that the SDL would help in any way if it led to elections and returning Fiji to parliamentary democracy.During Fiji Day celebrations, President Ratu Josefa Iloilo addressed the nation and said: “Fiji, our beloved nation, faces some very major problems. Our leaders in the Church, the Vanua and the Government need to work together.” In addition Ratu Iloilo encouraged stakeholders of the country to engage in constructive dialogue and co-operate to lay a more solid foundation that the people of Fiji needed to rebuild the country into a non-racial, culturally vibrant and united, well-governed, truly democratic nation. “Our people deserve to progress and to prosper, and for this to be achieved, we need peace and stability,” he said. “I urge you all to work together for the good of all our people and the nation.”Last week, Commonwealth envoy Sir Paul Reeves told a gathering in New Zealand that the main stumbling block in the process was the fact that the interim Government and the Commonwealth, EU and local stakeholders could not agree on the terms of reference asnd agenda for the proposed forum.

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