1 May 2012

New Zealand foreign minister says questions still remain about Fiji elections

9:03 am on 1 May 2012

New Zealand's Foreign Affairs Minister says questions remain about Fiji's plans to hold elections in 2014, five years later than originally scheduled.

Murray McCully is in Suva heading the Pacific Forum's ministerial contact group which is meeting both the six-year-old military-backed regime, and its opponents.

Mr McCully says as the 2014 date approaches the likelihood of the elections taking place increases, but questions remain about whether they will be free, fair, and open to unrestrained media coverage.

"Those are the sorts of signals we're looking for and my own belief is that the way in which the constitutional dialogues that's being held over the next six months or so plays out will be some sort of proxy for whether elections are going to be free and fair so we're at a pivotal time I think on the developments in Fiji."

Murray McCully says Fiji's interim leader, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, is out of the country but the Pacific leaders will speak to senior Government figures as well as opposition groups.