2 Feb 2006

Fiji PM assures international observers will monitor general election

9:13 am on 2 February 2006

Fiji's prime minister has given an assurance that international observers will be brought in to monitor this year's general election.

Laisenia Qarase has told Radio Legend that he has already decided that observers should be present to ensure Fiji has a free and fair election.

Mr Qarase says he will be inviting observers from the Commonwealth and possibly other countries as well.

The comments follow criticism of the voter registration process by the Fiji Labour and United Peoples parties who have both called for international observers.

Mr Qarase has called for critics to wait for the provisional electoral rolls to be ready when there will be a chance to correct any errors and address concerns.

The Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, says they will give more time to the supervisor of elections but if they are not satisfied with the outcome, legal action will be considered.

The supervisor, Semesa Karavaki, says the provisional rolls have been delayed because they are still waiting for the Boundaries Commission to complete its work on reviewing constituency boundaries.