WELLINGTON, May 2 (Xinhua) -- The Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum and Niue Premier Toke Talagi announced on Saturday that Fiji has been suspended from the Forum.
"I confirm the suspension of the current military regime in Fiji from full participation in the Pacific Islands Forum, with immediate effect from May 2, 2009," he said in a statement.
Talagi said Fiji military leader Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama had failed to address by Friday's deadline the expectations of forum leaders to return Fiji to democratic governance in an acceptable time-frame.
The suspension was "also particularly timely given the recent disturbing deterioration of the political, legal and human rights situation in Fiji since April 10, 2009," Talagi said in the statement.
"A regime which displays such a total disregard for basic human rights, democracy and freedom has no place in the Pacific Islands Forum.
He confirmed that "this decision does not amount to the expulsion of Fiji, as a nation, from its membership of the Forum."
"We look forward with great hope to Fiji's earliest possible return to constitutional democracy, through free and fair elections, when we will be able to restore this country to its rightful place among our family of Pacific Islands Forum nations," he said.
Last month, Fiji's president revoked the constitution and sacked the judiciary, after the Court of Appeal ruled the interim government illegal. Emergency regulations were brought into force. Fiji Interim Prime Minister Bainimarama has said there will be no elections until 2014.