iconimg Monday, August 31, 2015

Agence France-Presse
Suva, September 01, 2009
Fiji is set to be suspended from the Commonwealth after the South Pacific island nation confirmed on Tuesday it would not bow to international demands to call elections by October next year. Fiji’s military leader Voreqe Bainimarama, who overthrew the elected government in a December 2006 coup, has said he intends to hold elections by September 2014.

The Commonwealth earlier this year warned that Fiji would be suspended at 1730 IST on Tuesday if it did not agree to the 2010 election time table.

Bainimarama told local media that Fiji did not plan to budge from its so-called roadmap leading to elections in 2014.

“The Fiji government believes the roadmap is the only path to ensuring sustainable and true democracy, which includes... to have elections in 2014,” he told commercial radio.

“We will remain with that.”

Fiji was suspended from the 16-nation Pacific Islands Forum in May after Bainimarama broke an earlier promise to hold elections by March this year and the European Union has suspended aid to the military regime.

Fiji has already been banned from Commonwealth ministerial meetings due to the 2006 coup. If full membership were suspended, technical aid such as training that it receives from its fellow countries would also be halted.