11 Jan 2007

Commonwealth speaks out against Fijian interim government

4:55 pm on 11 January 2007

The Commonwealth has expressed concerns over the political situation in Fiji.

The Secretary-General, Don McKinnon, says he hopes the appointment of an interim government will only be a temporary measure.

Mr McKinnon says the Commonwealth's primary concern remains the restoration of constitutional rule and democratic government in Fiji.

He says its essential that the interim government is no more than a step towards the restoration of democracy.

He told the Commonwealth Secretariat's radio station that he's not overly optimistic about democracy being restored.

"Now its a matter of us determining when we can re-engage because my job now is to endeavour to bring them back into a democratic structure that the commonwealth would see them as normally participating in everything else."

Mr McKinnon says the overthrow of the democratically elected Qarase government was a serious violation of the commonwealth's fundamental principles.,