24 Nov 2010

Bainimarama extends China visits, misses Fiji budget

4:10 pm on 24 November 2010

Fiji's interim prime minister and finance minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, says he won't be back from China in time to present the budget on Friday.

Commodore Bainimarama left for Zhejiang province nearly two weeks ago and was due back last weekend, but he has now deferred his return to Suva for a second time without explaining the change in his travel plans.

He has told FBC News that the budget will be presented by the acting interim finance minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

The Fiji interim government has declined to name any of the Chinese officials and business leaders, whom Commodore Bainimarama has met so far.

Fiji's Ambassador in Beijing, Sir James Ah Koy, says he has not been involved in the visit.

Commodore Bainimarama has also told FBC News that New Zealand media has cited rumours that he had died, adding that they are worried he will turn up at the World Cup next year to play the All Blacks.