Breaking News. PM's Address to the Nation

Listen to the Address on this link  http://goo.gl/Fwpkd 
Read the Draft Constitution on this link http://goo.gl/wH8Nt  

 Commodore J. V. Bainimarama, CF (Mil), OSt.J, MSD, jssc, psc
Prime Minister of Fiji and Minister for Finance, Strategic Planning, National
Development and Statistics, the Public Service, People’s Charter and Change and Progress, Information, iTaukei Affairs, Sugar Industry and Lands and Mineral Resources

 ADDRESS TO THE NATION ON FIJI’S DRAFT CONSTITUTION
 Suva, Fiji Thursday 21st March, 2013


My fellow Fijians. Bula vinaka and good evening to you all.

In July2009,when launching the Strategic Framework for Change, I announced that
we must have elections under a truly democratic system by no later than September 2014.

That promise my government has been committed to and will fulfil.

We had also announced,when putting in place the Constitutional process, that the new Constitution must be in place by April of this year.That promise also my government will adhere to and facilitate.

You are also aware that the Constitutional process that we commenced with the Ghai Commission was modified.This was done to ensure that the fundamental principles of parliamentary representation and efficient and transparent  government was implemented through forward looking Constitution.

Today,we further modify the process to ensure that the key objective of holding elections by September 2014 under a truly democratic parliamentary system is met.Unfortunately,this modification has been forced upon us because of the lack of commitment by the political parties to register under the requirements of the law.There are allegations of fraud and impersonation.This does not provide a conducive climate to hold the Constituent Assembly. We cannot be delayed by such circumstances.

This , for me, is very disappointing because it would appear some politicians are still beholdent of the politics of old. Racism and corruption cannot form the basis of a new beginning for our beloved country.

My fellow Fijians, adherence to the timelines we have set is critical if we are to have elections by September 2014. A key aspect of holding the elections is to ensure that we have an electoral system that does not allow fraud and that we have public awareness and education about the new electoral system.We need at least 15 months to prepare for such elections.

In line with these undertakings, we announce this evening that the draft Constitution is ready.

Instead of presenting the draft to the Constituent Assembly under the previous arrangement, we will be presenting it directly to you.

My fellow Fijians, you will be the new Constituent Assembly.

The draft Constitution is available as I speakt hrough the Government website. It will be printed in full in tomorrow's Fiji Sun and in the days to come,and hard copieswill also be available from various Government outlets.

You will have until the 5th of April to give your feedback.You can give your feedback via email to a designated address,which will be announced in the next few days.You can write in your comments to the Solicitor General's office or drop them off there.You can even text your comments on the number 02 from midnight tonight.You can also post your comments via the Ministry of Information's Facebook page.

In the next few days, we will also publish explanatory notes to help you understand each and every single section of the draft Constitution.

Next week,we will also hold a number of community forums at which members of the public and representatives of organisations can attend to ask Government's legal team questions on any aspect
of the draft Constitution. Notices of these meetings will be published over this weekend.

I will also be holding talkback sessions on FBC radio stations in all three languages next
Tuesday,Wednesday and Thursday to answer any of your questions and listen to you.

Following these consultations and your feedback,we will finalise the Constitution to have it
ready for implementation no later than the 12th of April this year.

Let me now highlight some of the key components of the draft Constitution:

• It gives sovereign control to a single house in Parliament,which is represented by members
elected by you;
• The size of parliament shall be 45 with a four year term.The idea is to attract good quality and honest parliamentarians who will be paid accordingly and who won't be corrupt;
• It provides for not only civil and political rights,but also,for the first time in our constitutional history, it provides for a wide range of socio-­economic rights.As seen through the constitutional submissions, many Fijians are concerned about their day to day living and access to better facilities and utilities.The draft Constitution has rights to housing and sanitation,reasonable access to transportation,adequate food and water and social security schemes. It also for the first time gives specific rights to persons with disabilities and to children;
• It creates a secular state which will allow all Fijians to practice their own faiths;
• It has proportional representation through a multi member constituency which will give
enhanced opportunities for women and the youth to be in Parliament;
• It gives more independence to the Judiciary, to control their own budget
and finances as approved by Parliament. FICAC and the DPP's office shall control their own affairs;
• It creates a Human Rights and Anti-­-Discrimination Commission to give protection to all citizens irrespective of their backgrounds or socio-­economic status;
• It creates a truly independent electoral commission with appropriate powers;and
• For the first time in our history, it gives you the right to change the constitution once implemented via referendum;

My fellow Fijians I have just highlighted to you some of the key components of the draft
Constitution.urge you to read it in detail and provide your feedback.

In assessing the draft, please understand that it has been put together by incorporating the positive aspects of the Ghai draft,and with the view to withstand the test of time.

Constitutional, political and economic stability is critical to create a prosperous Fiji.A Fiji without
systemic corruption and a transparent
governmental system with true parliamentary representation will ensure that
the potential of all Fijians and Fiji is realised.

We look forward to our national discussions and your feedback over the next
two weeks.

Vinaka Vakalevu and good evening.






Comments

Another giant leap backwards said…
So Croz
No comment on the latest debacle in the constitution sham? How much longer can people like you deceitfully pretend this illegal junta is taking Fiji forward?
Patriot said…
We are moving forward and upwards too!!.. the elitists and corrupt leeches of this nation can keep squealing! Ha .. efficiency and transparency.... that is what the nation needs... the corruption and nepotism had destroyed this nation, people become disillusioned with all the grand talks but no results! We are moving faster ahead into a common future for everyone.. things are happening and we can see it...( I saw the plane- if you missed it bad luck).. guess what.. we are going to be part of it! The opposition can keep squealing. They never did anything good for this nation! The common citizen salutes everyone responsible for fixing the ills of this beautiful nation. All the best, I will definitely put my comments in for the final docs! All the best,.. and god bless our country!
Joe said…
Please explain. What did you like/dislike in the draft? Do you have a problem with the new CA arrangement? It doesnt get any better than this, you and I and everyone else is on the CA now, instead of the invited few. Have your say, what is stopping you?
Anonymous said…
A controlled open forum? Do you honestly think opposition to the draft will be considered?? Joe, people like you will dance to every tune this unelected mob play even if it changes from 6 different genre's and goes flat. Why not question the why's and how's Joe. Rely on your own information before standing up to applaud everything they do. You accept the injustices of Frances Kean? Answer me this and confirm now that Fiji is doomed.

Moce Joe.
Anonymous said…
Transparency efficiency... What are your views on the Frances Kean case? The government audits and the 9 officers who beat Sakiusa Rabaka to death and are still in uniform. Please I beg for your views.
Patriot said…
He has done his time and now he serves the nation! and he is doing a fine job. If only Rambo 1987 and SAS Speight 2000 understood this, we not be stuck here today discussing these issues. As for the beating, I am not worried about the angels from Naboro getting a smack! They were asked very gently to come back..Like every Fijian we understand what it means to disobey 'Ta'... you get a very quick and hard medicine that makes sure that everyone at the local "Naboro Angel community" understands what their position in society is!.. These are worthless rubbish that even Aus and NZ with all their Human Rights Bullshit will not accept. If you think otherwise then why didn't they offered Asylum for these Angels.. Funny, they will not even pass the asylum test because these angels will end up raping the same democratic people. Australia will send them to Nauru for processing! This nation needs leaders not people who talk and jump around in cute human rights beanies! Efficiency is when the common poor citizen receives the basic services they deserve.. the rich and the overseas travelers (like yourself?) take these things for granted and really dont have to suffer for medical and basic water facilities. Do you think they are worried that your elitist rights are being trampled? This nation will move forward with or without any outside conditional democratic help and their boomerang aid. We have new friends. God Bless this beautiful nation!
Joe said…
No, I dont condone the injustices of Kean, neither do I condone injustices of Seniloli, Vakalalabure, Lalabalavu, just to name a few. Fiji is certainly not doomed, but heading in the right direction. The opposition to the draft will certainly be considered, and the right thing will be done, ie majority rules. What you people are scared of is the fact that the PM has a huge support, and will get what he wants easily, and rightly so. Political parties would have stalled the CA and effectively delayed the election, to deliberately discredit the PM. This blog puts a lot of emphasis on "The way forward". 1997 constitution aint coming back, like it or not. We all want democracy dont we? Well, guess what!! It is just around the corner. All you have to do is pull your head out of your rear, open your eyes wide and look around you. Have a good day!!!!
Anonymous said…
Like to see smoke signal system put in place like papal selection when new president is selected. This needs to be put in place under section 82. Do I email it using my fake email address or post it on MINFO Facebook or text it from fake number from Africa or post it in my letter to Santa?
Joe said…
You actually raise a good point here. I think the govt should set up an online CA arrangement where registered voters will have the ability to login with their voter registration id's to have their say. The same should apply to sms, in person and snail mail. This will take care of the fraudsters and impersonators.
12 April 2013 - Beyond the Pale said…
Will all registered voters have instant access to a computer and the Internet? Because it will need to be "instant" if all 91 pages are to be read, digested and comprehensively assessed for submission prior to 5 April 2013. How will these views be "digested" with bona fide prior to 12th April 2013? That is a good date. The birthday of a person who must be turning in his grave having expended the last eight years of his life on 1997 Constitution. No effort was spared. You may be assured of that.
Anonymous said…
The tight timeline after weeks of uncertainty can only mean one thing: The regime has no interest at all in consultations. Submissions will go the same way the Ghai draft went: into the dustbin.
wati s said…
it gives sovereign control to a single house in Parliament, which is represented by members elected by you;
the size of parliament shall be 45 with a four year term. The idea is to attract good quality and honest parliamentarians who will be paid accordingly and who won’t be corrupt;
it provides for not only civil and political rights, but also, for the first time in our constitutional history, it provides for a wide range of socio-economic rights. As seen through the constitutional submissions, many Fijians are concerned about their day to day living and access to better facilities and utilities. The draft Constitution has rights to housing and sanitation, reasonable access to transportation, adequate food and water and social security schemes. It also for the first time gives specific rights to persons with disabilities and to children;
it creates a secular state which will allow all Fijians to practice their own faiths;
it has proportional representation through a multi member constituency which will give enhanced opportunities for women and the youth to be in Parliament;
it gives more independence to the Judiciary, to control their own budget and finances as approved by Parliament. FICAC and the DPP’s office shall control their own affairs;
it creates a Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission to give protection to all citizens irrespective of their backgrounds or socio-economic status;
it creates a truly independent electoral commission with appropriate powers; and
for the first time in our history, it gives you the right to change the constitution once implemented via a referendum;
SO NOTHING THAT PREVENTS THE NEXT BUNCH OF THUGS SCRAPPING IT WHEN THEY FEEL LIKE IT.
%$#@! said…
yes this the constitution the military will impose on you with the very minimum of consultation and no negotiation. It only applies to others and certainly makes sure they get well looked after. Of course it will stick !!
Anonymous said…
Whether the constitution is "imposed" on us should only matter if there are problems with it. So what if there is no consultation if it is a great constitution. If it is draconion that is a different story. So please let us know what parts you have a problem with.
great constitution said…
The CA was going to be made up of the same old bunch of no hopers Shamima, Richard Naidu, Yabaki and gang, and again they have been out manouvered by the PM!!!! Now they will have to say what they think is wrong about the right to clean drinking water (how draconian) the right to free education (shocking) and a judiciary which is free of the manacles of the Public Service Commission and the government. So predictable, they will complain about immunity (it was always a non negotiable principle, even Ghai knew that) and the disappearance of the Council of Thieves oops sorry chiefs.
Anonymous said…
Joe, thanks for your comments but no need to offend with immaturity. Anyways, Ok, you say that majority rules and Frank has the support. Have you read the media decrees, public order acts etc? If we are told we cannot voice our opinions i. e the minority, in public because it is now punishable by law, how can you justify Fiji moving in the right direction. Politics aside, morally can you see what us minority are saying. Imagine what our children are learning.. That they have no right to stand up for what they believe. You have to accept that opposition will always have a reason. And as a leader Frank needs to consider these reasons. I can see where you are coming from when you say Fiji is moving forward and I am glad that you are noticing something I have trouble noticing. Maybe I am just struggling to put food on my table because I am not working hard enough.
Joe, I just recently started blogging because every letter that I have sent to newspapers has never been published because I criticised this Government for the injustices and other things. I find this hard to have voice in my own country. I have personally witnessed beatings in Nadi army camp. It plays a picture about this Government every time I see Frank. But I guess what I feel and think doesn't matter. I'm just a minority.
Vinaka Joe.
Fast-forward said…
@ Anonymous

Unfortunately, the process of consultation and submission concerning the constitution of any nation or entity anywhere in the world DOES matter and you should know this. For ignorance is no excuse. Even the most humble PC on the beat knows this. It is required that the process be seen to be transparent and a fully consultative one in retrospect. We appear not to have considered this in our eagerness to fast-forward? For this reason, the South African Constitutional process was held in such high regard and was so generously funded at the time (and still is). To rush ahead appears careless and previous.

"Men should be what they seem". (Othello III.iii.126)
Anonymous said…
So Frances Kean is a korovou angel too. Nice.

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