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Fiji faces full suspension from Commonwealth

Fiji faces full suspension from Commonwealth

London: The Commonwealth has warned Fiji of full suspension from the group if the island nation’s interim government fails to restore democracy by holding elections soon.

A high powered group of the Commonwealth warned Fiji that it would be fully suspended from the group at the next meeting in September 2009 unless the interim government took steps for holding elections to “meet the March 2009 deadline".

The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG), at its 31st meeting here yesterday “deplored the fact that Fiji remained in contravention of Commonwealth values and principles"

“CMAG’s call for the Interim Government to adhere to its March 2009 deadline for holding elections had not been heeded; and that the Interim Government had not indicated an alternative date for elections."

The group decided that, should sufficient progress not take place, consistent with the benchmarks set out in the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ Communique, “Fiji Islands will be fully suspended from the Commonwealth at the Group’s next meeting in September 2009."

“CMAG agreed, that in the absence of satisfactory progress, it would convene an earlier meeting." The Group agreed that, in the meantime, Fiji should remain suspended from the Councils of the Commonwealth.

The meeting was chaired by Sam Kutesa, minister of foreign affairs of Uganda.

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