14 Jul 2008

EU renews call for Fiji election early next year

1:50 pm on 14 July 2008

The European Union has renewed its calls for Fiji to hold elections by early next year.

The call comes after a visit by an EU Troika, which met the interim government and politicians last month.

George Cunningham,the Charge d'Affaires,at the EC delegation in Wellington says it had constructive, if at times difficult, dialogue in Fiji.

But he says there's an overall feeling of caution given what's happened since the troika left.

"The withdrawal by Fiji from the High-Level working group of the Pacific Islands forum and other matters means there is great cause actually for concern at the moment. And we're very anxious that Fiji keeps on the course. There are many things that Fiji has to do to prepare for the elections in teh first quarter of 2009. Preperations are slipping for that electrion deadline. We want to reinforce the message that the deadline has to be kept."

George Cunningham says the EU is closely monitoring the situation in Fiji, to decide what it will do with money due to be released for sugar.