The Grand Chief, Sir Michael Somare used the opportunity of the transit through Port Moresby of the Interim Prime Minister of Fiji, Commodore Bainimarama, to have a one-on-one meeting to discuss the Fiji political situation and exchange views on how best to restore Parliamentary democracy in that country last Friday.
The Interim Prime Minister was returning from
The Grand Chief sought briefings from the Interim Prime Minister on the progress of preparations leading up to the scheduled elections in 2009.
The Interim Prime Minister explained that the political dialogue process within
He advised that the Draft Peoples Charter for Change, Peace and Progress was being taken to the people of
He emphasised that basically the electoral reforms being proposed seek to remove the current race-based electoral provisions in law and replace it with a one-person, one-vote system – representing equal rights of all Fijians.
The Grand Chief, on his part, reaffirmed to the Interim Prime Minister the readiness of PNG to provide whatever electoral assistance was needed, both in cash and kind, to the Interim Government in its preparations to hold elections.
Both leaders agreed on the desirability of the engagement by the President of Fiji for both the United Nations and the Commonwealth in the political dialogue process and preparations towards the elections.
The Grand Chief stated that the meeting was frank and very useful, in that it allowed him to get first hand briefing on the political situation in
The Interim Prime Minister of