He may have raked in the least number of votes out of the cabinet ministers sworn in this week, but Youth and Sports Minister Laisenia Tuitubou says his heart is in the right place "to serve the people of Fiji."
The visiting Pacific Islands Forum ministerial contact group says they are encouraged by the commitments given by the Fiji government on the consultation process for the 2014 election, but hopes these will be met by action.
Forum ministerial contact group chairperson and New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully told the media the process must be accompanied by freedom of association, freedom of speech and freedom for the media.
McCully said they have been assured by the Fiji government that the consultation process for the 2014 election is to start soon.
He said the public consultation process leading to the establishment of a new constitution will be closely observed by the international community.
McCully said interim Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and several officials have asserted it will be inclusive, fair and open.
“We have made a point in our communiqué that we want to observe closely, as the international community would want to observe, and if we can be satisfied that those assertions are met with action,” he said.
This, McCully said, would allow Fiji to participate in some Forum meetings.
The group will provide a report to Forum leaders in the coming weeks on the positive progress Fiji has made and the further steps they believe are required. Based on their continuing engagement, the ministers will provide a further update to leaders at their meeting in Rarotonga.
"Very worthwhile visit because we haven't had one to Suva in three years and it has been useful to talk to people on the ground. We have had an exhaustive series of discussions with the people involved in the administration and critics of the administration in the space of 1 day."
This visit is a snapshot of where things are today and to take account the old statements made about where things will be in a few months," he said.
The members of the Forum group are Senator Bob Carr, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia, Murray McCully, Minister of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand, Ano Pala, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade & Immigration of Papua New Guinea, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, Minister of Justice of Samoa, Apisai Ielemia, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism, Environment and Labour of Tuvalu, and Alfred Carlot, Minister for Foreign Affairs & External Trade of Vanuatu.
The Forum group last visited Fiji in 2008. Since then, they have met five times to discuss developments in Fiji and avenues for Forum engagement. The last meeting was held in Vanuatu in February 2011.
Stakeholders await Fiji tourism visionThe head of the regional tourism organisation says Fiji's tourism stakeholders are anxiously awaiting to hear the newly elected Fiji Government's vision for tourism in the next four years.
Go one step higher, President tells 7s repsFiji's President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau today reminded members of the Vodafone Fiji 7s team and Telecom Fijiana team of the nation's expectations and urged the players to go a step higher.
'Green'-tinted SUVs at Seoul Motor ShowGas-guzzling SUVs, eco-friendly electric cars and the odd brave attempt to marry the selling points of both are taking centre stage at the biennial Seoul Motor Show.
Vodafone Fiji, Tonga telco in allianceVodafone Fiji and Tonga Communications Corporation today signed a strategic partnership alliance that will allow the Tongan company to leverage off the experience of their Fijian counterparts.
Clean-up day to curb dengue outbreakFiji's Ministry of Health has declared a clean-up day next Thursday for residents in the central division as it ups the tempo against a dengue fever outbreak currently experienced in the country.