UN, FORUM PRAISE FIJI FOR LIFTING EMERGENCY REGULATIONS

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International community continues to react positivity

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 5, 2012) – The secretaries-general of the United Nations (UN) and the Pacific Islands Forum have welcomed the recent announcement that Fiji will lift its public emergency regulations.

In a statement, the UN’s Ban Ki-Moon says this is a positive step in the direction of the restoration of constitutional order.

And the Forum’s Tuiloma Neroni Slade says it is an important development and a step in the right direction.

The promised end of emergency rule has been widely welcomed by the international community.

The regulations, which give the military and police extensive powers, were imposed in 2009 after the appeal court ruled that Commodore Frank Bainimarama’s post-coup interim administration formed in 2006 was illegal.

The regime repeatedly promised to lift them once its media decree was in place but has failed to do so since imposing it 18 months ago.

The regime has also said it will hold an election in 2014 after reneging on an earlier promise to hold it in 2009.

[PIR editor’s note: Ban Ki-Moon has also called on Fiji to conduct more inclusive election processes, emphasizing that Fijis government must engage in constructive dialogues leading up to the elections. The governments of the United Kingdom and France have also welcomed announcements of Fiji’s turn to a democratic government and constitution in the coming weeks, but cautioned that further steps towards "the restoration of full democracy in Fiji" must be taken in order to bring "concrete improvements" to the island nation.]

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