Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Bainimarama promises elections in 2009

The military dictator of Fiji, Commodore Voreqe "Frank" Bainimarama, today announced his intention to hold free elections in March of 2009. The date coincides with a deadline set by the European Union as a cutoff date for foreign aid if elections were not held.

Since seizing power in a coup d'etat last December, Bainimarama has been fairly cavalier in his dismissing the "outrage" and "concerns" about his dictatorship from western democracies, but apparently, Fiji really needs the money. Will the promised elections be free and fair? That's highly doubtful. The man ousted in December's coup, Laisenia Qarase, has been fighting an unsuccessful battle in the Fijian courts to declare the coup illegal. The Commodore, for his part, has invoked immunity granted by Fiji's executive figurehead, Ratu Josefa Iloilo. What's more, there seems little doubt that Qarase will not be permitted to run again in 2009, as Bainiamara's shake up of the government continues.

UPDATE: This site appears to be new, but is well worth a look for anyone interested in Bainimarama's hostile takeover of paradise:

No comments: