CCF Responds to Consultation Announcement: Two Releases Date

 The Constitutional Announcement
The announcement made by PM Voreqe Bainimarama this morning (March 9th, 2012) on the process and timeline for formulating a new constitution for Fiji is a step in the right direction.

The adoption of the fundamental guiding principles which have been taken on board from the handbook “Constitution: Making and Reform; Options for the Processes”, launched by CCF and Interpeace in January this year, provides a way forward for developing a truly participatory process.

CCF maintains that the principles of good governance such as an independent & participatory approach be applied throughout the process, and in the identification and development of key entities such as the Constitution Commission and Constituent Assembly.

In welcoming the appointment of Prof Yash Ghai as chair of the Constitution Commission, CCF expects the remaining appointees to be persons who will ensure its independence and integrity.

While the announcement emphasises the role of citizens, CCF notes, that given the timeframe & the level of Civic Education needed, the commitment of resources needs to be comprehensive. The contribution & role of CSO’s & other stakeholders will be crucial in ensuring that people are made aware of how, when & where they must participate in this process.

Additionally, it is imperative that a conducive environment is created which encourages Freedom of Speech & welcomes Dialogue. The CCF reiterates that all laws that restrict free & open discussion be lifted during the process so genuine participation may occur.

Serious consideration must also be given to other important issues, such as the role of the Military in the constitutional development process.

We urge all Fijians to start talking and discussing in their homes, villages, religious and social groups on how to get involved, what they want to see in the constitution and openly discuss and debate contentious issues which will arise in the months ahead.

Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states “Everyone has the Right to participate in government and free elections” and it is now time for us Fijians to openly exercise this right for a common cause, taking Fiji towards a sustainable constitutional democracy.

CCF Responds to Consultation Announcement:Date (earlier release)
The Constitution Consultation Start Date announcement by Voreqe Bainimarama is a welcome one especially if it is to be a truly participatory and inclusive process.

The removal of ethnic-based voting and the reduction of the voting age to 18 coincides with CCF’s submission to the Reeves Commission in 1996 and notes that these changes are a step in the right direction for Fiji.

CCF CEO Reverend Akuila Yabaki recommends that all citizens must come to the table and present their views on what they feel should be included and these include those such as:

1.the types of government,
2. the issue of a form of Bill of Rights,
3. our definition on social justice issues and Affirmative Action,
4. Positions of executive authority,
5. the constitution roles of the judiciary,
6. State Services,
7. Codes of conduct that ensure Accountability such as a robust and relevant code of conduct and the offices that ensure these including the Office of the Ombudsman and the Human Rights Commission, Auditor general and other freedoms of information.

He adds that “equally importantly, decisions have to be made on the issue of role of the military and the Great Councils of Chiefs.

“The protection of the ownership of resources such as the land, the environment, flora and fauna may need to be enshrined in the new document.

Reverend Yabaki stated that, “Everyone must discuss these and have clarity on their positions on these issues and more when the consultation starts, so that we can develop a constitution that has national ownership.”

“Individuals who hold on the 1997 Constitution may also need to be heard and their arguments included in the processes so that we can make the process truly inclusive.

CCF also wishes to state that the Ministry of Information Media Release that mentions CCF holding educational meetings throughout the nation in January and February is incorrect as it plans to begin workshops in Ra and Ba on the topics of Good Governance, Human Rights and Citizenship starting in March. To date this year alone CCF has only undertaken workshops in Naitasiri and Tailevu. Plans for Ba were deferred due to flooding.


Joe Palooka said…
I think the CCF recommendations are on the mark. I would add a Due Process provision although I'm sure, Prof Ghai's commission will include it as a matter of course. Thanks to CCF and Reverend Yabaki for their contributions. Fiji needs positive voices.
SOE said…
My God, Jo Palooka! Who the hell are you?

Positive voices? After so very many betrayals? Who do you take us for?

"What kind of a people do they think we are?"

"This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is perhaps the end of the beginning."

(Sir Winston Churchill of the Japanese-World War Two post the Pearl Harbour attack to US Congress 24 Dec 1941.

And of the Victory in Egypt - Speech at the Mansion House, 10 Nov 1941).

How right he was!
Back to Precedent and the Privy Council said…
Options for the Process:

A prime option should be 'No written constitution". The Devil has always been in the detail. Manipulation, waste-of-time wrangling and sheer bullying have prevailed even in the Joint Parliamentary Committees (1997) where in one, we are told by a member of parliament, resort to the four letter word (c 1500) was made by a ranking chief.

The use of the four letter word prevailed. This 'ranking chief' is now Care-giving in the USA. If this is non-sequitur - So Be It.

No written Constitution - at least no new one. Go back to Precedent and the Privy Council.
Cock Ups and Corruption said…
Failures, Cock-Ups and ....The Bottom Line

How necessary are they, the failures and the Cock-Ups to the success of any enterprise or entrepreneurial outcome? Very, it appears. We must dust ourselves down, learn the lesson and begin all over again.

So how is Fiji faring in this essential endeavour? After 4.5 Cock Ups are we learning anything at all of future use? Shall the Gross Domestic Product suddenly take a Quantum Leap? Or ... are we not quite there yet? Still making monstruous errors of judgement and failing to be transparent about them. Surely, by now we MUST have BEGUN to get it right. Nepotism undeclared (because of obvious conflicts of interest)is an essential element of corruption, for instance? Since when has it not been?

How many Cock Ups does it take?
Romeo said…

Whats your posting all about?

Makes no sense. No logic etc

What you smoking bro?
Joe Palooka said…

Who the hell am I? I'm just an anonymous blogger who unlike you hasen't yet mastered the art of mumbo jumbo and gibberish.
I'm aware that the train has left the station. the coup has happened and the fact cannot be reversed.My choice is either to utter useless threats or to support any well intened contribution to help move the country forward. I chose the latter.
SOE said…
@ Romeo

No sense, no logic? You are quite mistaken

When it comes to smoking....take your pick. They are all here:

Cedros de Luxe No 3 Romeo y Julieta
Romeo y Julieta Mini

Primo del Rey

Guantanamera Cristales

Not one from Costa Rica!
Anonymous said…

More gibberish

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