BAINIMARAMA: FIJI ELECTIONS TO BE HELD IN DECEMBER 2009

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The military commander promises 12-month wait

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Dec. 5, 2009) – The interim Prime Minister has told chiefs who went to the Bose ni Turaga at the army camp last month that the election will be held in December.

Vunivalu of Serua Ratu Peni Latianara, who attended the meeting, said he posed the question to Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama as to when the election would be held.

He told Commodore Bainimarama that people in Fiji were wondering when the election was going to take place and it was only proper for the interim PM to say when.

Speaking in Fijian, Ratu Peni said the answer the chiefs got from Commodore Bainimarama last month was that the election would be held in 12 months.

Ratu Peni then suggested that the election be held by the middle of the year.

Another chief who was at the meeting, Ratu Josateki Nawalowalo, said Ratu Peni inquired with the interim Prime Minister about the election.

"Ratu Peni asked questions on the election timetable, since it is what everyone is trying to know too," Ratu Josateki added.

Attempts to get comments from the interim Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama proved futile yesterday.

The permanent secretary in the Prime Minister's Office, Parmesh Chand, chose not to comment on the issue.

"I will not comment on it," said Mr. Chand. "Anything to do with the election dates, you can get it from the Prime Minister himself."

Chand, however, admitted that the electoral reforms would take place after the President's political dialogue forum which is expected to be held later this month.

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