1 Aug 2012

Union leader says Australia and New Zealand jumping gun over Fiji

7:31 am on 1 August 2012

A Fiji union leader, Felix Anthony, says there's much disappointment in Fiji over New Zealand, Australia and Fiji's decision to restore full diplomatic links.

The three countries have agreed at a meeting of their foreign ministers to re-install high commissioners following tit for tat expulsions in 2009, a move aimed at supporting Fiji as it prepares for elections in 2014.

But Mr Anthony, who is National Secretary of the Fiji Trades Union Congress, says Canberra and Wellington are jumping the gun as the Fiji regime has yet to prove the constitution review preceding elections is truly democratic.

"The decision was a bit hasty, premature, simply because we haven't seen anything concrete on the ground as yet in terms of improvement to human rights, trade union rights in this country and also there have been some serious concerns that have been raised by almost every organisation in this country which are concerned to see a return to democracy."

Felix Anthony says a lot of people in Fiji are not as optimistic as the Australian and New Zealand governments that there will be a free and fair election in 2014.