6 May 2014

Fiji urged to invite EU observers

12:55 pm on 6 May 2014

Fiji's National Federation Party says the European Union should be included among official election observers.

The EU told the Fiji Times it has not received a request from the government to send observers for the September polls and it requires four months notice to be deployed.

The party's president Tupou Draunidalo says the party is urging the government to invite the EU as it has been one of the largest donors of foreign aid to Fiji for decades with an important role in the sugar industry.

"They seem to have a more distant approach to these things which is good in the sense that they are not directly involved in day to day politics as it were or very closely involved as Australia and New Zealand are. That's not a criticism of Australia and New Zealand, that's just a fact of proximity."

Ms Draunidalo says the party also wants Fiji's Attorney General to draw up terms of reference for the observer missions which meet international standards.

Australia has been asked to co-lead the international observer mission which also includes the Melanesian Spearhead Group.