Fiji’s interim PM calls for sacrifice as isolation looms

February 5th, 2009 - 12:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Wellington, Feb 5 (Xinhua) As pressure mounts on his administration to return the country to democracy or face isolation, Fiji’s interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has called on people to sacrifice for the benefit of future generations. The interim prime minister said he has to do what is “best” for the country and the people, beginning with changing the country’s race-based voting system.

“Every now and then we need to make sacrifices for the betterment of our future generations,” the Fijilive news website Thursday quoted Bainimarama as saying.

Fiji’s 15 Pacific neighbours have threatened to suspend it from its regional group whilst the EU, the largest donor to Fiji, and other international organisations, were likely to follow suit with retaliatory measures if Fiji does not hold elections this year.

“We cannot let the financially powerful players in the region dictate to us, when we know what is best for our future,” he said.

“Maybe we lose some now, but in the long run, we are more independent, confident and our children will have a lasting multi-racial, cultural and tolerant society they can develop in,” he added.

Bainimarama has until May 1 to make his stand known to the Pacific Island Forum on whether he would adhere to the 2009 election deadline.

He said the current focus of his interim government is on rehabilitation following the recent floods and any discussion on the forum resolution will take place after the flood victims are taken care of.

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