29 Jan 2009

New Zealand's PM says Bainimarama reaction is 'ridiculous'

6:55 am on 29 January 2009

The Prime Minister John Key says Fiji's latest reaction to a communiqué on holding elections, issued by Pacific leaders, is 'totally ridiculous.'

The Pacific Islands Forum has given Fiji until May the 1st to set a date for democratic elections, which it says should be held by the end of the year.

If Fiji fails to comply, it faces partial suspension from the Forum.

Fiji's interim leader, Frank Bainimarama, reportedly says the Forum's action was akin to a declaration of war, a claim Mr Key dismisses.

"They are totally ridiculous statement for Frank Bainimarama to be making and as far as we are concerned, the Forum wants Fiji to succeed, we extended a hand of friendship but that hand of friendship has to be done in a way where Fiji needs to understand that there needs to be a return to democracy."

The Prime Minister, John Key.