Friday, May 1, 2009

Bainimarama deputy defends poll rejection

ABC Pacific News
Last Updated: Fri, 01 May 2009 14:41:00 +1000

Fiji's acting prime minister, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, has defended the refusal of the country's military leader to abide by an election deadline set by the Pacific Islands Forum.

The regional body says elections must be held this year, or Fiji will be expelled from the forum at midnight on Friday.

Military leader Commodore Frank Bainimarama has said he has no intention of meeting that deadline.

Mr Sayed Khaiyum told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat program it is not the right time for elections in Fiji.

"What we are actually being told by Australia and New Zealand in particular - you must have elections irrespective of the fact that the electoral system is skewed, have elections now and that means democracy," he said.

"Democracy is not simply having elections, in particular when the elections are based on the electoral system that is skewed and does not give you full suffrage. "

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