I was pressured to announce elections in 2009 – Bainimarama1
3:08 Mon Jul 21, 2014Taken from/By: FBC NewsReport by: Edwin Nand
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has revealed he was pressured to announce an election date for March 2009 by the Prime Ministers of Papua New Guinea and Tonga. Speaking on FBC talk-back show – 4 The Record – Bainimarama confirmed it was never his intention to hold elections until Fiji was ready.“When I said we were going to have elections in 2009, I said ‘If we’re ready by then’. That was the pressure put on me by the Tongan Prime minister and the Papua New Guinea Prime Minister then – to make a comment and say we will have elections in 2009.
I told them I can’t make that promise because we are not ready, and they said ‘just make it’ – (the announcement).
”Bainimarama says he is confident Fiji is ready for elections now because the 2013 Constitution is in place and the new electoral system ensures equality and fairness. In early 2007, a few months after the military Clean Up Campaign began, Bainimarama’s administration was facing international pressure, sanctions and isolation from many neighbouring countries. It was in the middle of all this, when the March 2009 date was announced.