Solomons Reaffirms Support for Constitution Reforms

Solomon Islands PM
The Government of the Solomon Islands has reaffirmed its position on supporting electoral reforms implemented by the Fijian Government.

At a recent meeting between Fiji’s foreign minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola and the Honorable Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands Hon. Gordon Darcy Lilo, both parties discussed Fiji’s progress towards achieving electoral reforms.

Minister Kubuabola visited the Solomon Islands and paid a courtesy call to Prime Minister Lilo and updated on a number of issues. At the same time, the Minister was able to convey Fiji’s recognition of the enduring support of the Government of the Solomon Islands towards Fiji’s Roadmap to Parliamentary Democracy and our appreciation for Solomon Islands vigorous support towards Fiji.

In doing so, Minister Kubuabola also provided an outline of the recent developments on Fiji’s new Constitution, confirming that following the successful completion of national consultations, a Draft Constitution has been tabled to His Excellency the President of Fiji. Minister Kubuabola specified that whilst the merits of such a Draft Constitution are being acknowledged, there were certain critical elements that required further discourse and analysis, such as the size of Parliament relative to the size of Fiji’s population, and the notion of a largely unelected national people's assembly comprised principally of non government organisations sitting alongside the elected Parliament. These are the possible amendments that the Constituent Assembly would be considering, to the Draft Constitution, as opposed to what activists are deliberately interpreting to be “A New Draft Constitution”. Minister Kubuabola assured PM Lilo that the New Constitution would be ready by March this year.

The Hon Prime Minister Lilo thanked Minister Kubuabola for these clarifications on recent political developments in Fiji, commending the manner in which Fiji has meanwhile conducted herself on the international front. He conveyed his confidence that Fiji would be meticulously monitoring the undertakings of the Constituent Assembly over the next month to ensure that the crux of the New Constitution shall enshrine issues that are fundamental to Democracy, and reiterated his support and the support of the Government of the Solomon Islands for Fiji’s efforts towards Parliamentary Elections in 2014.

The Hon Prime Minister Lilo also expressed his appreciation to the Hon Prime Minister of Fiji, Voreqe Bainimarama, for his exemplary leadership and his congratulations for Fiji’s recent assumption of the Chairmanship of the Group of 77 + China in 2013.

Minister Kubuabola took the opportunity to also discuss with the Hon Prime Minister Lilo the Fiji Volunteer Scheme, recognising that the Solomon Islands was amongst the first Pacific Islands to have signed the Development Cooperation MOU with Fiji in 2010.  The Hon PM Lilo thanked the Government of Fiji for this Scheme, accepting the proposal by Minister Kubuabola for the surplus Solomon Islands graduate doctors from Cuba being considered for deployment to Fiji under the Scheme.

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