UN demands immediate Fiji polls

Security council says annulment of country's constitution a "step backwards".

    Bainimarama was appointed prime minister by Fiji's president after his government was ruled illegal [EPA]

    Since his reappointment, Bainimarama has imposed emergency restrictions and refused to hold elections before 2014.

    After a briefing from Lynn Pascoe, the UN political department chief, the security council said it was "deeply concerned about the situation in Fiji, where undemocratic decisions were made, including the abrogation of the constitution".

    Pascoe said that preparations that had been under way for the United Nations and the Commonwealth to mediate dialogue in Fiji faced suspension "unless there is a change in the current state of affairs".

    Senior lawyer reinstated

    However, the council's 15 members "expressed hopes that Fiji would make a steadfast advancement toward democracy and that free elections will be held at the soonest possible time".

    Meanwhile, the former solicitor-general of Fiji, who was recently dismissed amid the political upheaval, has accepted reappointment, saying that the country needs qualified lawyers to help restore the rule of law.

    Christopher Pryde, a former New Zealand lawyer, has rejected calls by the New Zealand and Fiji law societies for lawyers to refuse appointments to posts in a military government that has been found unlawful.

    Pryde said on Tuesday that "it is vitally important at this time in Fiji's history that people assist the country in getting back on its feet".

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    A relatively new independence and fresh waves of conflict inspire a South Sudanese refugee to build antiwar video games.