The outcome of general elections that begin Aug. 25 could present a crisis for Fiji. If former prime minister Mahendra Chaudhry wins, the country would have to face the same issues that arose in May 2000 when failed businessman George Speight stormed parliament, took officials hostage and forced the overthrow of the freely elected government in the interest of ethnic Fijians. Speight is now on trial for treason, but the country’s ethnic divisions have not healed. Rumors have spread that Fiji’s military and police will not support a government led by an ethnic Indian, but both institutions have denied this. A full security alert has been put in place that will last for three months after election results are announced early in September. Police, normally unarmed here, have asked for permission to carry weapons during this period. Consider deferring travel here until election results are known and the response to them has been assessed.