12 May 2007

Fiji's interim PM an influential leader - says magazine list

9:16 am on 12 May 2007

Fiji's interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, has been named among the top ten most influential leaders in the Pacific.

Australia's John Howard tops the list prepared by Pacific Magazine but Commodore Bainimarama is placed ahead of the Japanese prime minister and Papua New Guinea's Sir Michael Somare.

Pacific Magazine says Commodore Bainimarama cannot travel to the United States, Australia or New Zealand, but he has a big impact on the foreign policies of those countries as they relate to the Pacific Islands.

It says Commodore Bainimarama has undertaken to pursue corruption investigations, resolve the land lease issue, restructure the sugar industry, review electoral boundaries hold a population census and review the country's election system.

The magazine says Commodore Bainimarama is also ready to engage with the international community to explain the political transition and the steps that Fiji is now taking.

Pacific Magazine says the legacy of Commodore Bainimarama's leadership, regardless of how it was acquired, will determine whether that influence is negative or positive.