PNG Applauds Fiji’s Commitment To 2014 Elections

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PNG Applauds Fiji’s Commitment To 2014 Elections O’Neill: PNG will support ‘Melanesian brother’ Fiji

By Reginald Chandar

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, April 16, 2013) – Fiji’s commitment to hold elections in 2014 has been hailed by Papua New Guinea.

PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill informed his Fijian counterpart Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama last night that they are satisfied with the progress made by the government in putting together mechanisms and processes for elections in 2014.

"Papua New Guinea as Fiji’s Melanesian brother is committed towards supporting Fiji in providing electoral, technical and administrative support leading up to the elections," he said.

Bainimarama updated O’Neill on the current process involving Fiji’s draft constitution including public discussions which will now expire on the 30th of April (2013).

"We are building a new Fiji, a better Fiji – one that finally puts to rest the divisions of the past and lays the foundation for lasting stability and prosperity. And we are seeking to further enhance our international relationships, not the least with our long standing friends in Papua New Guinea," Bainimarama said.

O’Neill also urged Fiji’s nomination for the post of director general for the Pacific’s African Caribbean Pacific (PACP) secretariat which will be hosted by Papua New Guinea.

The establishment of a secretariat for the PACP follows the successful outcome of the PACP meet in PNG last year that resulted in Fiji's re-inclusion in all PACP talks.

[PIR editor’s note: PM O'Neill also announced that PNG's government will provide about $23 million in support to assist Fiji in preparing for the 2014 elections. The total amount will be provided in two parts, the first half of which will be given in 2014 and the latter in 2015.]

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