31 Mar 2008

Ousted Fiji leader says election timing messages confusing

6:04 am on 31 March 2008

Fiji's ousted Prime Minister says that government leaders have been sending confusing messages over the past week about the timing of the general elections.

Laisenia Qarase says the interim Prime Minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, reiterated to a meeting of the National Council for Building a Better Fiji earlier undertakings that the general elections will be held by March, 2009.

However, at the same meeting the co-chair, Archibishop Petero Mataca said delays in developing a People's Charter could delay the general elections.

Mr Qarase said greater confusion was caused by the Finance Minister, Mahendhra Chaudhry then saying the Charter must be in place before the general elections can be held.

The ousted leader told the Fiji Times that this could mean if the charter is not ready until 2011 then the general elections will not be held until 2011 or later.