Fiji leader vows polls in two years

Move comes after EU threatens to suspend aid unless democracy is restored soon.

    The EU had threatened to suspend $272m in aid unless Bainimarama restored democracy [AP]
    The elections should take place no later than March 1, 2009, it said.
     
    Fiji also agreed to lift emergency regulations next month and to guarantee the independence of the judiciary, the EU said following the talks on Wednesday and Thursday.
     
    "The European Union will continue and deepen the political dialogue with Fiji to ensure the earliest possible restoration of respect for human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law."
     
    The announcement comes a week after Bainimarama sacked the country's influential council of indigenous chiefs, saying it was a threat to security and had "betrayed" Fijians' trust.
     
    The coup leader had also snubbed a senior US envoy who later said the military commander was unlikely to relinquish power soon.
     
    December's overthrow of the democratic government was Fiji's fourth coup in 20 years.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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