Monday, July 19, 2010

Fiji has no reason to defer election -- NZ PM Key

NZPA Monday, 19 July 2010

Fiji's self-appointed and illegal Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has no reason to postpone holding elections in 2014, despite threats to do so, Prime Minister John Key says.

Commodore Bainimarama was unhappy a summit of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), due to be held in Fiji this week, has been deferred.

At the time he accused New Zealand and Australia of interfering and said because of that he may not hold elections in 2014.

Australia's top diplomat in to Fiji was expelled, due to Australian efforts to stymie the event.

Ten Pacific countries will now attend the Engaging Fiji conference in Nadi, to be hosted by Fiji's interim government.

Mr Key said he would be concerned if Fiji deferred elections beyond 2014.

"Nothing I've seen would mean that Mr Bainimarama would have any reason other than to hold elections in 2014 if he's a man of his word."

The Government was disappointed with the expulsion of the Australian high commissioner, Mr Key said.

There had been no recent moves against New Zealand representatives in Suva, he said.

"We as a Government have tried very hard to re-establish those diplomatic relations and our people have done the best they can to have a good and open relationship with particularly the foreign minister."

Cdre Bainimarama seized power in a 2006 coup and has deferred elections until 2014, sacked judges and cracked down on the news media.

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