15 Mar 2014

CMAG partially lifts Fiji's suspension from Commonwealth

6:51 am on 15 March 2014

The 43rd Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group meeting in London has announced that Fiji's full suspension from the Commonwealth can now be changed to suspension from the councils of the Commonwealth.

The move means Fiji can once again participate in a range of Commonwealth activities, including the Commonwealth Games.

In a statement, CMAG says the decision was in recognition of progress made in Fiji towards holding national elections by September.

The group welcomed the promulgation of a new constitution, the enrolment of more than 540,000 voters; the establishment of an independent Electoral Commission; and the commencement of a dialogue between the Commission and political stakeholders.

CMAG also looked forward to the early appointment of a Supervisor of Elections and the issuance of an Elections Decree and the legal framework for elections.

The group also stressed the importance of continuing improvements to human rights, the rule of law and fundamental freedoms, including of the media, expression, association and assembly.

It also encouraged Fiji to invite international observation of the election.

The Group also welcomed the relinquishment by Frank Bainimarama of his role as Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces.

The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group further reaffirmed its commitment to Fiji's full reinstatement as a member of the Commonwealth, through the restoration of constitutional civilian democracy following credible elections later this year.