30 Apr 2010

Fiji regime reaffirms commitment to 2014 election

8:56 am on 30 April 2010

The interim Fiji regime has hit back at comments by the Samoa Prime Minister that he doubted the country would hold elections by 2014.

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi had also said he thought it ridiculous that the Pacific Islands Forum secretariat remained in a country run by a dictatorship.

In a statement, the interim Fiji Prime Minister and his government have reaffirmed an unswerving commitment to holding elections in 2014.

It says time is needed to allow for reforms to be put in place.

And in the statement the interim government says the presence of the Forum Secretariat in Suva it is not relevant since Fiji is suspended from the agency.

It compares the agency's presence with the University of the South Pacific which is also headquartered in Suva.

The interim Government says it still wants to maintain a cordial relationship with Samoa.

But the Fiji Land Forces Commander Lt Col Pita Driti has told Auckland-based Radio Tarana that Tuilaepa wants the Forum in Apia and has been pushing for this.

He says the interim Fiji leader, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, says Tuilaepa can have it but the region wouldn't accept it.

"Our PM thinks that if he wants it, he can take it. Pacific Islanders will not respect him because he is a puppet of the two countries. He talks on their behalf and he's a parrot. He's a parrot and a puppet, that's all."