EU to hold back Fiji election funds | Pacific Beat

EU to hold back Fiji election funds

EU to hold back Fiji election funds

Updated 1 February 2013, 17:17 AEDT

The Fiji interim government has missed a self-imposed deadline to present its new draft constitution, which would replace the one prepared by its Constitution Commission last month.

Interim leader Frank Bainimarama had promised to make the new draft available for consultation by the end of January. There's also been no word on the appointment of the Constituent Assembly whose job it would be to debate and approve the new constitution.

The European Union has said it wants to see the make-up of the Assembly before giving Fiji any more money ahead of promised elections. The EU gave around $US400,000 to the Constitution Commission, but there's more than $US1.5 million that's being kept back for the Assembly and other election-related activities.

Geraldine Coutts spoke about the issue with the charge d'affaires for the EU delegation in the Pacific, Johnny Engell-Hansen.
The Fiji interim government says the draft constitution was always intended to be issued when the Constituent Assembly sits, which is scheduled for later this month.
The permenant secretary of information, Sharon Smith-Johns, says the document is in the final stages and will be ready to present to the Constituent Assembly when it meets.

Presenter: Geraldine Coutts

Speaker: Johnny Engell-Hansen, charge d'affaires for the EU delegation in the Pacific

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