Pacific Islands Forum-Fiji Joint Working Group on the Situation in Fiji


The Working Group held its twenty-ninth meeting at the Forum Secretariat Headquarters in Suva on 26 May 2008, attended by senior officials from Australia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Tuvalu.

The Working Group was briefed on the proposed political forum on electoral reform which the Commonwealth Secretariat and the United Nations have been invited to facilitate.

The Working Group was advised that discussions were continuing between the office of the interim Attorney General and the Constitutional Offices Commission on the appointment of the Supervisor of Elections. The Working Group strongly urged a quick resolution to the talks and an announcement of the appointment of the Supervisor as soon as possible.

The Working Group expressed continued concern that the detailed timetable for election preparations that Fiji undertook to Forum Foreign Ministers in Auckland to provide for consideration by the interim Cabinet had not yet been tabled. Noting the fact that elections are due to be held in ten months, the Working Group reiterated its call on the interim Government to finalise the timetable at the earliest opportunity.

The Working Group discussed the standing issues (the restoration of civilian rule, upholding the 1997 Constitution, the cessation of human rights abuses and addressing allegations of abuse, and support for a credible and independent anti-corruption commission).

The Working Group welcomed the dialogue process begun between the interim Prime Minister and the ousted Prime Minister, and expressed hope that the two leaders would continue to meet and discuss ways to progress the return to parliamentary democracy.

The Working Group will hold its next meeting on 12 June 2008.