4 Jul 2008

Fiji parties positive about interim regime's proposed forum

2:20 pm on 4 July 2008

The Commonwealth's special envoy to Fiji says the country's political leaders have agreed to participate in a proposed Presidential Forum looking at electoral reform.

Sir Paul Reeves is in Fiji in response to a request from President, Ratu Josefa Iloilo.

Pacnews reports that Sir Paul extended an invitation to join the political Forum to all political leaders, and says there is broad support.

He says most want the dialogue to include electoral reform but for it to be broader.

This comes as parliament has been closed since the military coup of 2006.

Sir Paul will now prepare a report for the Commonwealth Secretary General, and expects to be back in Fiji at the start of August.

He says the Commonwealth is in an ongoing discussion with the United Nations about how best both the Commonwealth and the UN can assist Fiji through this process.

He says the Commonwealth still expects Fiji to honour its commitment to hold a general election in March 2009, and would need to hear good arguments to come off that understanding.