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Fiji Interim Civilian Government

Foreign Minister Phil Goff described the Fijian Interim Civilian Government that has been announced today as "unrepresentative and lacking a mandate.

"The fact that it does not include Speight supporters is welcome. The fact there are no Indo-Fijians on board is of great concern.

"Our position remains, that the 1997 Constitution and the Parliament elected last year should be restored. These are the only sources of legitimate power in Fiji.

"Our attitude to the new government will be determined by its commitment to return Fiji to constitutional and democratic processes. We are still waiting to hear their intentions in this regard.

"At the very minimum the administration must set a clear time table for the restoration of democracy and the fundamental rights of all Fijians.

"For Fiji to regain international acceptability it must maintain the principle of one person one vote and reject the calls by ultra-nationalists designed to relegate Indo-Fijians to the status of second class citizens."

Mr Goff concluded that his immediate concern remained the safe release of the hostages.

ENDS

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