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Fiji Still Volatile As Election Looms

The murder of Fiji's Red Cross head shows how volatile the country remains in the lead-up to next month's elections, says United Future leader, Hon Peter Dunne.

Mr Dunne says the brutal slaying of Mr Scott shows that the bitterness that underpinned last year's coup remains strong, and that further acts of wanton violence cannot be ruled out.

"Countries like New Zealand that have lectured Fiji long and hard over the last year about what it should and should not do now have a responsibility to ensure that the coming election is carried out in as fair and peaceful a way as is possible, and is not an excuse for the fragile state to degenerate into more violence."

"I am calling on the New Zealand Government to take a more proactive stance to ensure that the election process is able to be carried out fairly and properly, including discussing with the interim Fiji administration what steps we might be able to take to assist."

"An erratic election, marred by violence and fear, will solve neither Fiji's more pressing problems, nor contribute to regional stability," Mr Dunne says.

Mr Dunne says he was deeply saddened by the news of Mr Scott's and his partner's murder, and hopes their killers are quickly brought to justice.

"I extend my sympathy to their families and relatives, and express the wish that this tragic event will spur New Zealand and other like minded nations to more upfront in ensuring that next month's elections are able to usher in a new period of democratic government, peace and stability in Fiji," he says.

Ends


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