The NZ Government is encouraged by Fiji’s progress towards elections in 2014 and will send independent monitors if it is asked, Foreign Minister Murray McCully says.
Speaking after meeting foreign ministers from Australia and Papua New Guinea in Brunei today, Mr McCully said they had discussed co-ordinating their support for the elections.
“We’ve seen some progress in recent months following a satisfactory period towards the end of last year and I think that we should be pleased to see, for example, the registration of political parties and the clear preparation of the machinery of the elections,” he said.
“Today’s discussions between Australia, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand was an opportunity for us to look at how we can make sure we’re fully joined up and co-ordinated in offering support.”
Mr McCully says New Zealand will send independent monitors to Fiji if it is invited to do so.
“We will wait until a little bit closer to the time to see what the nature of the invitation looks like to the members of the international community,” he said.
“I’m aware that the Commonwealth and other bodies have been taking an interest [in that] recently, we will respond when we know the situation.”
Mr McCully’s meeting was on the sidelines of an Association of South East Asian Nations conference.
Fiji’s military leader and interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, is committed to holding elections in 2014 – something the international community has been urging him to do since he seized power in a coup in December 2006.