20 Mar 2007

Former Fiji PM Rabuka says election could return same government

3:31 pm on 20 March 2007

Former Fiji prime minister Sitiveni Rabuka says if the country rushes into a general election the previous government will be back in power.

Mr Rabuka made the comment after a summit of Pacific Forum Foreign Ministers in Vanuatu last week recommended Fiji return to democracy as soon as possible.

Forum countries will form a joint working group to find credible ways of returning Fiji to democracy.

The group will engage with the administration in a bid to reduce the three-year timeline for elections proposed by it.

Mr Rabuka, who headed the 1987 coups, says the implications of earlier elections need to be considered.

"If we go quickly into another election, we satisfy the international community that's been clamouring for a return to clear and democratic systems, but whether the result that we can produce within that short period will be different from the results produced in the last election is the other side of the question."

Sitiveni Rabuka