Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Illegal Fiji PM Foolishly Defiant

I will not meet Commonwealth deadline: Fiji PM
www.fijilive.com - August 04, 2009

Fiji will hold its general elections in 2014 and not next year, as required by the Commonwealth, says Fiji Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.Bainimarama’s comment comes after the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group renewed its warning last Friday to suspend Fiji from the 53-member Commonwealth if it failed to commit to returning the county to democracy by September 1, 2010. Bainimarama told FijiLive that he had issued a roadmap to elections in 2014, which includes a new constitution that assures racial equality and reforms that will address the country’s coup culture. “The governments view is that the best way forward for a truly sustainable democratic Fiji is, Fiji’s Strategic Framework for Change,” said Bainimarama.
He said ministries and departments are engaging in consultations on the Roadmap for Democracy and Sustainable Socio Economic Development (RDSSED) 2009 - 2014. The RDSSED sets out a framework to achieve sustainable democracy, good and just governance, socio economic development and national unity, he said.He said the objective of the roadmap is to implement policies to achieve the vision of “A Better Fiji for All” which is consistent with the Peoples Charter and is linked to the Strategic Framework for Change (SFC).Bainimarama added that changes entailed in the Charter is about the Electoral System, Parliament, Laws, the Public Service and related institutions including priorities in economic and social development, indigenous institutions, the use of land, food and security, how minority interests are protected and enhanced, Fiji’s relations with former Fiji citizens living overseas, race relations, the relationships between religions in Fiji and many other changes. He said that integral to this process has been the firm commitment of all stakeholders as well as the Government towards the restoration and sustenance of “true parliamentary democratic governance, stability and peace in Fiji”.
In March, the Commonwealth had given Fiji a six-month deadline to restore democracy, three years after military leader Bainimarama overthrew the elected government. There had been some signs that the CMAG would agree to suspend Fiji immediately, at its meeting in London on Friday, but the nine-member group has to agree by consensus, meaning any one country can block a decision. Fiji has already been banned from Commonwealth ministerial meetings due to the coup. The action came after Bainimarama ignored a deadline to hold elections by March this year.If full membership were suspended, technical aid such as training that it still receives from its fellow countries would also be halted.

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