The Makings of a People's Constitution?
NPCAC Chairman Josefa Serulagilagi has urged Government to fast-track work on the new Constitution. The Strategic Framework for Change Committee —working from the People’s Charter and the Roadmap— originally scheduled dialogue on the Constitution to start late this year or early next year when the work would be completed. This blog has been one of many voices urging that dialogue be brought forward.
Over the next few weeks I hope to bring together views on aspects of the Constitution that in all likelihood will be changed from the 1997 Constitution. These include: the role of the President, Senate, the Great Council of Chiefs, the Prime Minister, Parliament, the legal profession, the military and, of course, the general shape of the electoral reforms that will follow and how the Constitution will be legitimised without a parliament.
In welcoming the decision to fast-track work on the Constitution, we would urge that once the Constitution Commission is appointed and their TOR established, discussion be throw wide open with articles in the print media, expert and panel discussions on radio and TV, and nation-wide public meetings to inform the public and encourage their participation. Schools, business associations, trade unions and civil society groups should also plan to discuss the Constitution.
This time Fiji must get it right, and it will not do this, however wise the Commissioners, unless their work is embraced by the people. Fiji has a People’s Charter; it now needs a People’s Constitution.
Charter Council Advises Commission will Speed Up New Constitution
This report from Fiji Village See also report by FijiLive
The National People’s Charter Advisory Council has impressed upon the government that the processes of preparing a new constitution must be fast-tracked through the establishment of a Constitution Commission and appointment of its membership with a Terms of Reference.
Chairman of the Council, Josefa Serulagilagi said they are satisfied with the work of the whole machinery of the government in embracing the 11 pillars of the Peoples Charter, and the manner in which the work is being implemented and monitored.
Following the presentation of the council’s 2009 and 2010 report to the Prime Minister, Serulagilagi said the council is convinced that the reforms emanating from the implementation of the charter are progressing well and are very much on target.
He said the council is totally committed to ensuring that all processes are implemented in a timely and coordinated manner for Fiji to go to the polls in 2014.
Serulagilagi said it is important for the whole of Fiji and the international community to get behind the 2014 timeline and make it happen.
He reaffirmed that the council has accordingly encouraged the government to fast-track the aspects such as the preparation of a new constitution which will require time, resources and wide ranging consultations, for Fiji to be well on schedule for democratic elections in 2014.