19 May 2011

Colonel Mara says Fiji election plans for 2014 untrue

7:07 pm on 19 May 2011

The former Fiji army commander who has fled the country says the military regime has never had any intention of holding democratic elections.

Lieutenant Colonel Ratu Tevita Mara fled to Tonga after being charged with sedition, saying he feared he would not get a fair trial.

Fiji is now trying to extradite him.

Fiji was to have held democratic elections by now, but the country's military ruler Commodore Frank Bainimarama has deferred them until 2014.

But Ratu Tevita says there is no intention to go to the polls.

"No, none whatsoever, none whatsoever, despite what they have been saying to the international community, there have been no concrete steps taken to ensure we get back to elections in 2014. We've been asking and the answer that is coming back is the AG is working on that."

Ratu Tevita Mara says his wife's cousin has now been released from the Queen Elizabeth barracks in Suva, after questioning about his whereabouts.