Pacific Forum leaders today discussed the issue of Fiji with elections being set for 2009.According to the Fiji Times Online, Pacific Forum leaders today 'endorsed the findings in the Eminent Persons Group Report for an election in 2009 as an appropriate way forward to the restoration of constitutional and democratic government in Fiji'.
This is in line with recent reports leading up to the Forum Meeting stating that high in the Forum's agenda was the situations in Fiji and the Solomon Islands.
For his part, Fiji's interim Prime Minister, Commodore Bainimarama, stated to the Forum leaders that he and the Army will accept the outcome of the 2009 general elections.
Dr. Feleti Sevele, Chair of the 38th Pacific Islands Leaders Forum, spoke on behalf of the Forum leaders saying that they welcomed the undertaking by Fiji's interim government for a parliamentary election to be held in the first quarter of 2009. He said that the leaders now call on the interim government to work with the Forum-Joint Working Group to produce a credible road map to the election according to the Constitution and laws of Fiji. Dr. Sevele also added that the leaders noted that the interim government was pursuing an initiative to produce a Peoples Charter and that there would be a meeting of the Forum Foreign Ministers in January 2008 to review the progress towards election.
Commodore Bainimarama later reiterated that Fiji will be going to the polls in 2009 and that the interim government was firm on that, stating that the country has had its census and announced the boundaries commissioners as steps towards the elections.