17 Sep 2014

Fiji did not request observers - PNG

5:31 am on 17 September 2014

Papua New Guinea's Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato says to his knowledge his government received no formal invitation from Fiji to send observers for today's election.

The Multinational Observer Group for the Fiji poll includes representatives of at least twelve countries including Israel, Russia, Australia and Indonesia.

However, despite reports in recent months as being a leading observer nation, PNG has not sent observers.

Mr Pato says he saw no formal request from Suva.

"So that was probably the reason why we haven't sent a member there. We are supporting the natural process. We are providing twenty million dollars US to support the election as you know. So we're committed to the process of democratic elections in Fiji. It's just that we hjave not had formal notice."

Rimbink Pato says there is no spat between the two countries related to signs of bitterness from the Fiji regime that its candidate lost to PNG's in the recent selection of Pacific Islands Forum chair.