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Re-instigate political dialogue and accept NZ offer of help for elections

Press Release:
Citizens’ Constitutional Forum (CCF).

The Citizens’ Constitutional Forum (CCF) requests the Fiji government to re-instigate an inclusive national political dialogue for electoral reforms as a first step towards implementing the roadmap to elections.

CCF also calls on the Fiji government to acknowledge the New Zealand Prime Minister John Key’s reassurance that they are prepared to help Fiji financially or in other ways, to ensure that elections take place by 2014.

“The Fiji government needs to remain committed to the roadmap to elections that was presented by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, at the ‘Engaging with the Pacific’ meeting held in Natadola last week,” CCF Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Reverend Akuila Yabaki said.

“Electoral reforms and the elimination of race based voting are a critical first step in this process and the CCF calls for an inclusive political dialogue to be re-instigated at the earliest possible opportunity to facilitate such reform.”

Rev Yabaki had been present as an observer at the ‘Engaging with the Pacific’ meeting.

“The leaders showed a willingness to engage with Fiji and they accorded respect to the current government. Bainimarama must reciprocate this respect by making a firm commitment to the roadmap to elections in Fiji by September 2014,” Rev Yabaki said.

CCF requests the Fiji government to seek assistance from the 11 countries whose leaders were present at the Natadola meeting, to find a facilitator for the national political dialogue.

Fiji should also take up the New Zealand government’s offer of assistance for elections and should re-open dialogue with the New Zealand government to discuss political and economic matters.