|Fiji’s military-led Government may remain in power for at least four years due to the delay in electoral reforms. And some of the blame for Fiji’s early return to democratic rule since the December 2006 military takeover has been put on its larger international neighbours.Interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama says that opposition to the interim Government and delay in assistance sought from the Commonwealth Secretariat and the United Nations is hindering Fiji’s progress. A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office today confirms that Bainimarama and his Fiji delegation raised the matter again in consultations with a number of Fiji’s bilateral and multilateral development partners early this week.
The UN and Commonwealth, who have been asked to facilitate the all-important Political Dialogue Forum by Fiji President Ratu Josefa Iloilo, have yet to respond. Bainimarama says the “long delay” in getting the Forum underway is a concern.
As it is, the Forum is expected to convene at its earliest at the beginning of next year, following the finalization of the People’s Charter. The Forum, which would bring together all key stakeholders, including all registered political parties, may need several meetings before reaching a broad consensus on changes to the electoral system, if at all.
According to the Electoral Commission and the Elections Office in Fiji, it would take between 12 to 15 months to hold an election from the time the new electoral system is decided.