30 Mar 2010

Uncertainty over start of Fiji's National Dialogue Forum

1:41 pm on 30 March 2010

Groups which have registered interest in taking part in Fiji's planned National Dialogue Forum are still waiting to hear when it might start.

The interim administration called for expressions of interest in December and the first meeting of the Forum was due to be held last month.

The Forum has been described as a preparatory step towards a consultative constitutional forum in 2012, two years out from the elections.

The Citizens Constitutional Forum is on of those groups keen to take part, but its executive director, the Reverend Akuila Yabaki, says they are still awaiting a response after applying to take part more than three months ago:

"We are unaware of the reasons for the delay but can only hope the process will start as soon as possible because I think many people in Fiji and across the world increasingly agree that this is the one way forward."

Mr Yabaki says he is aware the current administration was seeking an independent chair for the Forum, but does not know if difficulties in this area are holding the process up.