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Special Envoy Sees No Real Progress

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By Joe Yaya, USP journalism student with the Daily Post

SUVA: Special Commonwealth envoy to Fiji Justice Pius Langa says the speedy return of democracy in the country is the only acceptable action the Commonwealth will accept.

Justice Langa said that the bottom line was "there should be a legitimate government as soon as possible".

On his fourth day of meetings in Suva, Justice Langa said the parties he had met so far agreed that the speedy return to democracy was paramount.

But he added that he had seen no evidence that there was a will from the military appointed interim administration to bring this about.

"In my discussions with them, I see there is a reluctance to find a way forward," he said.

"There is a huge problem here, having had previous coups (1987) and an attempted coup (2000), and solutions for this must be found," he said.

Justice Langa said that though the parties agreed there was a great problem, they had different perceptions regarding the solutions.

"This is what we need to centre on," he said.

Justice Langa said there was a great anxiety in the Commonwealth for Fiji's return of membership but it depended on the recognition of a democratic government.

"Once this is in place, then the prohibitions are going to be lifted," he said.

Justice Langa said that the courts should be transparent and effective in their handling of the rebels' case.

"It is desirable that there should be effective investigations and prosecutions, and the courts should deal with matters that come before them impartially, without fear or favour," he said.

The envoy will meet with members of the deposed People's Coalition government today and will return to South Africa tomorrow.


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