|Postdate: 23/ 08/ 2007
1. Firstly what is the CCF’s stand on this decision by the Cabinet?
The decision of the interim government to state a 4 years road map to return to Constitutional democracy is too long. It is about being in power for the rest of the term left of the SDL led government that the RFMF deposed. CCF had proposed between 15 months to 2 years road map, which is consistent with the Eminent Persons Group recommendation and the policy of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG). CCF hopes this statement should be negotiable downward with the Forum Foreign Ministers group.
How do you think this could affect the country?
The road map of 4 years means Fiji will remain an international pariah state for that long. This will be costly to Fiji because we need to normalize relations with our trading partners and overseas aid partners as soon as possible so aid can be restored. This decision means we will have to face serious economic sanctions from the European Union at probably later this year with the likely loss of $350 million aid to our ailing sugar industry. Fiji is in a serious and deteriorating economic crisis and deciding on a long road map inconsistent with the view of the international community is going to worsen our economic and political crisis. The Interim Government will be undermining its own recovery plan with this decision.