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No Elections in Fiji in 2009 says Bainimarama

Posted: July 18, 2008 at 9:32 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama says there will be no elections next year.

Bainimarama has made the announcement in an exclusive interview this afternoon with Radio Fiji News journalist Masimeke Latianara.

He made the revelation upon being asked whether Fiji would have general elections next year. Bainimarama says the initial plan by Cabinet was to have elections in 2010 – even though there were no plans for electoral reform then.

Bainimarama says the March 2009 deadline is unachievable because of the electoral reforms which he says he will make sure happens before taking Fiji to elections.

The interim Prime Minister has also explained why he made the March 2009 promise to the Forum and to the international community.

He says he made the promise because Forum chairman and Tongan Prime Minister Dr Feleti Savele told him the international community would be FLEXIBLE if more time was needed.

He says Sevele changed the wording of Fiji’s statement to the Forum Leaders meeting in Tonga last year.

“Any way I went to TONGA for the FORUM meeting last year as every one know and prior to that meeting I had sat with the chairman of the FORUM countries DR SEVELE the Prime Minister of TONGA who insisted that I remove the IN PRINCIPAL because it was not telling the international community that we were going to have elections what I gathered was that he said whilst you kept the IN PRINCIPAL in front of the March 2009 it tells the International Community you will never have elections so take away the IN PRINCIPAL keep the MARCH 2009 announce to them the MARCH 2009 and if there’s any extra time for elections that you want we will be quite flexible coming out with additional timing so I took that on board and that’s how I came up with MARCH 2009 at the FORUM on the understanding if there’s need to be an extension in time the International Community will be very flexible.Unfortunately for me that date was added in and written in blood by everyone in the international community including the people who have been very vocal with the interim government.”