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Former prime ministers seek dialogue with Bainimarama

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, September 1, 2009) – The Fiji Government has yet to respond to a proposal by two former prime ministers suggesting ways to steer Fiji out of the political and economic doldrums.

It is understood that Laisenia Qarase and Mahendra Chaudhry had written a joint letter to Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama last week.

The Bainimarama Government, while insisting that the two politicians support its reforms and roadmap to elections in 2014, has not totally shut the door on them.

"We will see the letter and take it from there," Government spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Neumi Leweni told FijiLive yesterday.

The resumption of dialogue between Government and Fiji’s political leaders is a key condition set by the international community if Fiji was to receive their assistance.

To delay may also mean Fiji’s political isolation.

Qarase said he has had "absolutely no communication or indication whatsoever about the political dialogue".

"I’m still waiting," he said.

Qarase even hinted that he may be ready to compromise his stand and support proposed changes by Bainimarama to ensure Fiji returns to early democracy.

"The whole purpose of the President’s Political Dialogue Forum is to discuss these things – but, with no preconditions," he said.

However, when asked to point out aspects of the Bainimarama roadmap he supported, Qarase declined to comment and switched off his phone.

Chaudhry could not be reached for a comment.

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