6 Jul 2012

Fiji regime demands broad mandate for parties in 2014 poll

3:13 pm on 6 July 2012

Fiji's elections minister says parties need to have a broad mandate to be allowed to contest the elections promised for 2014.

The military regime has begun setting a new framework to choose a new parliament, which will replace the one it shut down in the 2006 coup.

A decree made public this week has scrapped the 1998 Electoral Act, but it allows parties to operate until the regime issues further the decrees, which will require them to register again.

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has told Auckland-based Radio Tarana that parties needed also to re-register in countries, like Indonesia.

"We need to ensure that the political parties that do continue or are re-registered or registered are parties that have a broad mandate."

The criteria have not been made public, but earlier this year, the regime leader, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, said that to end the coup culture, the ousted prime minister Laisenia Qarase and his former cabinet should not be allowed to return to power.