Friday, August 17, 2007

Fiji election and corruption

So Voreqe "Frank" Bainamarama has finally bowed to EU pressure and the regime has set a date for the post-coup elections in Fiji for 13 March 2009. According to Laminar Flow, it marks an interesting change from the so-called clean-up campaign "from investigations into corruption to actual prosecution". Frank has up-staged both Canberra and Wellington after Helen Clark's bluster about the regime's PM facing being "treated something like a leper" at the forthcoming Pacific Islands Forum summit in Tonga. Updates on the corruption and freedom of speech issues still trickle out from Fiji, and the Fiji Independent Commision Against Corruption (FICAC) has engaged Kiwi lawyer Paul Johnson to add a bit of zip to the prosecution cases. (Check out Scott McWilliam's paper on corruption and governance for some earlier background).

On Fiji matters, NZ photojourno Bruce Connew has produced an inspiring book, STOPOVER, on Fiji's indentured labour, George Speight's coup and the story of Indo-Fijian post-coup migration. Superbly designed by his wife, Catherine Griffiths, it's a must read. An exhibition of this work is scheduled for PATAKA, Porirua, Wellington, New Zealand, from August 26, 2007.

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