Commonwealth re-instates Fiji

2014-09-27 14:58
New Fiji 10 dollar notes without Queen Elizabeth II's image and an old 10 dollar note (bottom) featuring the queen. (Reserve Bank of Fiji/AFP)

New Fiji 10 dollar notes without Queen Elizabeth II's image and an old 10 dollar note (bottom) featuring the queen. (Reserve Bank of Fiji/AFP)

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London - The Commonwealth said Friday it had reinstated Fiji as a full member following credible elections earlier this month, eight years after the South Pacific nation was first suspended following a military coup.

Ministers from the 53-nation organisation made the decision after Voreqe Bainimarama, who had led a bloodless coup in 2006, was sworn in as prime minister on 22 September following a general election.

"Fiji was today reinstated as a full member of the Commonwealth following a decision by the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) at their 44th meeting in New York," the London-based Commonwealth Secretariat said.

"The group concluded that Fiji's suspension from the Councils of the Commonwealth should be lifted in recognition of the credible elections held on 17 September 2014 and the assumption of office by a democratically elected government."

Bainimarama took office in the wake of a landslide election victory that delivered the legitimacy that had previously eluded his regime following its 2006 coup.

The Commonwealth suspended Fiji following the coup and in 2009 this became a full suspension.

Earlier this year, however, the suspension was scaled back to allow the country to participate in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

"The group congratulated the newly elected government of Voreqe Bainimarama and called on all stakeholders in Fiji to continue working together to strengthen the country's democratic culture, encouraging them to explore opportunities for dialogue and national reconciliation," the statement added.

Read more on:    fiji  |  commonwealth

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