Fiji gains NZ aid after adopting constitution

Pacific nation moving towards democracy after 2006 coup by Bainimarama, according to New Zealand officials.

    Fiji has been hit by four coups since independence in 1970 [Getty]
    Fiji has been hit by four coups since independence in 1970 [Getty]

    New Zealand has eased sanctions and increased aid to Fiji after the Pacific island nation's military regime
    adopted a new constitution last week.

    New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully says he welcomes the new constitution and Fiji's progress toward holding democratic elections. 

    Fiji's leader, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, seized power in a 2006 coup. He has promised to hold elections next year, which he plans to contest. 

    McCully said on Thursday that New Zealand had ended travel bans on sports teams and those peripherally connected to the coup. Travel bans remain in place for key regime leaders.

    New Zealand has also reinstated 10 postgraduate scholarships for Fijian students, and is increasing financial aid and election assistance.

    Fiji has suffered four coups since gaining independence from the United Kingdom in 1970.

    It has traditionally had close relations with New Zealand and Australia, and both nations have a large expatriate community from the islands. Diplomatic relations between the countries were restored last year.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.