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Bainimarama says even ousted Qarase could run

By Reginald Chandar

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, March 5, 2012) – Fiji’s Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has declared that anyone can stand for the general elections in 2014.

Bainimarama confirmed this to Sky News reporter Graham Davis in an interview which was aired on television last night.

When asked if former Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase will be allowed to contest, Bainimarama responded: "Anyone is able to stand, even Laisenia Qarase."

He reiterated that the 2014 elections will be free from bias and no-one will be allowed to stand on behalf of any one race in Fiji.

"It’ll be equal suffrage, one man, one vote. That is definite, that everyone has accepted that. And that is the way we’re going to go."

Meanwhile, Bainimarama is expected to announce the process of public consultations for the formation of the new constitution later this week.

[PIR editor’s note: Bainimarama has also said he is thinking about running in the 2014 elections, adding that while "he would consider whether to stand closer to the time [of the election], because he didn’t want to divert attention from bringing about a credible constitution and elections... there is no doubt he would win."]

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