28 Jan 2010

Fiji not set for return to democracy, says academic

7:52 pm on 28 January 2010

An academic at the Australia National University, Jonathan Fraenkel, says Fiji is not set to return to a free democracy.

In a speech in Kadavu this week, the interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, said that by 2014 politicians should be ready to take over the running of the country.

But the Commodore has in recent days warned that the military will ensure that any elected government stays on the same track.

Dr Fraenkel says the Commodore has a history of changing what he has vowed to do.

"A trail of broken promises and if we believe what we're hearing, the electoral democracy that is restored in Fiji will not be one that is free of military influence."

Jonathan Fraenkel of the ANU.