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Fiji Coup Leader Sets New Elections for 2010


Fiji's coup leader and interim prime minister says new elections in the South Pacific island nation will be held in 2010.

Military commander Frank Bainimarama said in a statement Tuesday he had set out a "road map" to democracy that includes a constitutional review, a national census and a revision of the voting system.

In Washington, a State Department spokesman reiterated the U.S. demand that democracy in Fiji be restored immediately - not one, two or three years from now.

Bainimarama toppled the elected government of Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase on December 5, accusing him of corruption and criticizing him for being too soft on the organizers of a 2000 coup.

Australia, New Zealand, Britain and the United States have imposed sanctions on Fiji, saying the country should return to civilian rule.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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