Official Release on Constituent Assembly

MEDIA RELEASE:  PM SAYS CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY MEMBERS MUST HAVE WIDESPREAD COMMUNITY SUPPORT

The Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, says the Constituent Assembly, he will appoint to review the new Constitution, will represent the broadest possible cross section of Fijian society.

But he stressed that its members will first need to demonstrate that they represent a significant constituency in the country.

Speaking at the opening of the 14th  annual Attorney-Generals Conference at Natadola, the Prime Minister said Fijians could not allow a narrow band of elite to again determine the country’s future, as had happened with previous constitutions.

“We have already had a handful of men determine what our constitution would be after independence, we have already had the 1990 Constitution imposed with almost no consultation at all, and we have already had the key recommendations of the Reeves Commission overturned by a joint parliamentary select committee. This will not happen again”, he said.

The Prime Minister said the Constitutional Commission had traveled the length and breadth of the country to receive submissions from Fijians on their views of what should be included in the Constitution. Through this process, the views and opinions of Fijians who had been marginalised and sidelined in the past had been given a voice.

“Once completed, the draft constitution will be submitted to the President, who will then refer it to the Constituent Assembly to review and make any amendments it believes are appropriate.”

“The Constituent Assembly will consist of the broadest possible cross-section of Fijian society, as set out in the relevant decree. But to qualify as members of the Constituent Assembly, individuals and organisations will need to demonstrate that they represent a significant constituency in the country. They must also be guided by a commitment to the interests of the nation and the Fijian people as a whole”, the Prime Minister added.

-END-
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Comments

Guess Who? said…
The true purpose of Fiji blogs is to report what is not permitted to be reported (under Decree) in the mainstream. The above regurgitation of a Qorvis press release is redundant in this forum.

If we want to read "spin" we can read the Times or the Sun online.

We are still waiting for you to cite the case named you know of, that prove your claims that the judiciary are independent. Your silence is deafening us, Croz.

Don't make claims, that are designed to mislead the good people of Fiji, unless you back up your claims. Your journalistice integrity is being diminished by the minute. Your lack of ethics is becoming all too clear. Have you been compromised?

I eagerly await a reply in your name or whatever names you or Qorvis use to attack genuine comments.

You seem to be "flogging" a dead horse.
Anonymous said…
Yeah were waiting Croz. Don't move on until you finish with the last posting. Why haven't you responded to the requst to provide proof re the judiciary. If Gates goes down you go with him.
Greg Bullard said…
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the bloggers and blog sites (like Intelligentsiya) that have shown me support. To those who wanted me to reveal my findings and makes such findings known internationally, I have done all I can.

I will not be posting any further comments or correspondence (if at all) until the Australian political intervention/investigation has run its course, and my findings have been duly considered by the British High Command in Suva and the Office of the British Sceretay of State in London.

I have done all I can.

Seasons Greetings.

Best regards,

Greg Bullard (Former Head of the Legal Practitioners Unit)
Sydney, Australia
Constitution Sham said…
Widespread community support is decided by the ballot, not by the bullet. Fiji is currently being run as a dictatorship by treasonous criminals using thugs with guns to support their evil acts. Like the constitutional commission, the so called constituent assembly is just another junta stooge body. Fiji military has sold out their nation.
Anonymous said…
Greg, you were a 24 carat nutter when you were in Suva and you know it. I've seen the official report on your behaviour. Full of stuff about you hearing voices and throwing your weight around. You are lucky to have stayed out of St Giles. "British High command"? Are you kidding? "British Secretary of State"? Really? Listen mate, take my tip. Keep taking the medication and stop being such a bloody fool.

As for the rest of you from "complaints central" of the SDL/NGO/"human rights" coalition. Give us a break. This is so dreary all this stuff you rabbit on about. Enough already.
Anonymous said…
Croz, why do you put up with these idiots? They have nothing at all relevant to say. Sick of all this crap about Qorvis. It's a PR firm for God's sake. Anyone would think it's the evil empire they way some people go on. These comments columns have been taken over by one or more individuals with such a big axe to grind that it's worn down to the wooden handle. Boring, boring, boring.
Crosbie Walsh said…
@ Guess who?... Thanks for your advice on what I should and should not publish. The most well known of the cases that went against government are mentioned in a posting tomorrow. Unlike the other blogs you presumably admire, I do not rush in to print the first thing that comes to my attention. It you'd check out how many times they have been wrong, and never published a retraction, you'd see where it would be more appropriate for you to direct your attention.
Crosbie Walsh said…
@ Anonymous ... Agree. My choice is either to publish their comments and hope that most readers will see them for what they are, and perhaps write a contrary comment; or block their comments. If they are not too 'sick' or personal, for the moment I'm opting for the first choice. Genuine, intelligent, informed, contrary comments, of course, do not fall into this wayward category and will always be published.
Crosbie Walsh said…
@ Constitution sham... You're on you own on this one. All, or almost all, commentators, even overseas ones, are positive about the dialogue process and the Constituent Assembly. The anti-Bainimarama blogs and old vested interests, cf course, are the exception. If you want to help Fiji, you would distance yourself from their subjectivity and make suggestions about how the "process" may be improved. Or at least withhold judgement until there is something to judge.
Shazzer Grubby said…
Croz even Yash Ghai has doubts about the Constituent Assembly. He also has doubts that we will have free and fair elections with the current decrees in place.

Please stop trying to tarnish everybody who does not believe in this process as having vested interests.

Bainimarama and Khaiyum have the most vested interests in ensuring they cling to power in any way possible.
Junta spin said…
Croz
Perhaps it is time to move beyond your limited junta groupthink and open your eyes to the real world?
"The International Trade Union Confederation and Human Rights Watch have sent a sharply-worded letter to Fiji coup leader Voreqe Bainimarama demanding he repeal "longstanding restrictions on rights".

The letter, signed by ITUC general secretary Sharan Burrow and Human Rights Watch Asia director Brad Adams, said the protection of rights was essential in the lead-up to democratic elections set for 2014.

"Your government continues to deny Fiji's citizens their rights to freedom of speech and expression, a free press, assembly, and association," they said in the seven-page letter dated December 5 and seen here Sunday.

"The military and police have arbitrarily arrested and detained human rights defenders, including trade union leaders and journalists, and others perceived to be critical of the government."

Bainimarama, who seized power in a 2006 coup and tore up Fiji's constitution three years later, has promised democratic elections in 2014 when a new constitution is in place.

However, Burrow and Adams questioned the consultation process now underway before a Constitution Commission, saying the assembly that will review its proposals lacked political independence.

The Bainimarama-installed government controlled the assembly's composition and had given it the power to amend or delete recommendations from the commission, they said.

"The interim government has unfortunately failed to protect key human rights essential if this consultation process is to be free, fully participatory, inclusive, and transparent."

The letter contained a list of grievances which the ITUC and Human Rights Watch held against the Fiji administration, including that it "consistently interfered in the workings of the courts" and "sought to limit public criticism through censorship of the press".

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