Mr. Speaker, I rise today on an issue of great concern to many citizens around the world.
On May 19, 2000 an anti-government demonstration was held by civilian rebels in Suva, the capital of Fiji. At that time, Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry and members of his government were taken hostage and a military government was established.
Following the release of the hostages and the toppling of the military government, Fiji fell into a period of anarchy in which an interim civilian government was undemocratically established. The interim government has announced that it will not hold elections for three years. It plans to rewrite the constitution of Fiji within one year in order to place further restrictions on the basis of racial origin.
I rise today to ask members of the House to support the commonwealth ministers' action group in its desire for free elections in Fiji as soon as possible and to ensure that a new constitution is written, free of restrictions on the basis of racial origin.