Ministry of Information "Fact Sheet" on Draft Constitution

FACT SHEET: FIJI’S NEW CONSTITUTION

People should judge the new draft constitution on its merits. People who believe in efficient, transparent and honest government, equality under the law, individual liberty, and guarantees against state power will find much to admire in it.

The draft contains many of the positive elements of the draft developed by the commission chaired by Yash Ghai, but it is more succinct and leaves decisions to the discretion of an elected Parliament.

The new draft was required to ensure that Fiji had a forward-looking constitution that advanced the fundamental principles of parliamentary representation and efficient and transparent government.

The provision allowing change by popular referendum will enable the constitution to stand the test of time.

It also contains provisions to guarantee transparency, promote prosperity, inhibit corruption in Government and protect human, civil, political and socio-economic rights. It will be the centrepiece of a cleaner, fairer political system.

Specifically:

·       It gives sovereign control to a single house in a 45-member Parliament directly elected by the people for four-year terms. With a smaller Parliament, Members will be better compensated, which should reduce temptations for corruption and entice highly qualified individuals to stand.

·       It establishes a multi-member open list system of proportional representation for the election of Members of Parliament. This will give women and the youth more opportunities to be elected.

·       It divides the total number of members in Parliament between 4 electoral divisions.

·       It is the first Fijian constitution to provide for a wide range of socio-economic rights, including rights to housing and sanitation, reasonable access to transportation, adequate food and water and social security schemes. It is also the first Fijian constitution to give specific rights to persons with disabilities and to children.

·       It provides for civil and political rights.

·       It creates a secular state that will allow all Fijians to practice their own faiths without fear of persecution.

·       It strengthens the independence of the Judiciary,  allowing the judiciary to control its own budget and finances as approved by Parliament.

·       It gives Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions control of 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.

·       For the first time in Fiji’s  history, it gives the people the right to change the constitution via a referendum.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Guess Qorvis did not want you to mention the military's power.
A worsening dictatorship said…
Croz
Are you now working for the junta spin machine or are you and your wife looking for another free trip to the dictatorship land of torture 101?
Anonymous said…
Dear Croz,

After a break I have come back to look at your latest posting. It is sadly reassuring to see that you are still a very one eyed supporter of the illegal government. How can you be so blind to the reality of the suppression and brutality that is used against any voice of reason in Fiji? Why are you so compelled to use such selective reporting on the situation in Fiji? Did you have some past dark, traumatic experience that you never recovered from?

The dictator in Fiji is doing all he can to ensure he stays in power, but you seem to have missed that bit in the electoral and constitutional goings on. Please have another read and then report again how good it is for democracy in Fiji.

How can someone who would wish to be seen as a voice of reason be so economical with the truth about the overall situation in Fiji. You gloss over the illegal inhuman bashing of escapees, and seem incapable reading the clear indications that innocent people who have a different opinion to that of the dictator receive the same treatment. Then there is the bribery, coercion and corruption.

What will it take to open your eyes to reality? If you are at all interested in the whole truth here is a hint; you wont find it by looking only in the government controlled media. And before you even try, don't give me any crap about the media in Fiji being free; it isn't.

I fear a life threatening experience on the road to Damascus is your only hope!!.
Anonymous said…
A wonderful piece of legislation! Lets add the immunity for criminals and the rights of the military to the list above. Eh and the lengthy provisions that entrench any decree an unelected government has gazetted. And before I forget, the inability to challenge any thug in court and the right of the government to restrict freedom of speech and media freedom.
Damascene conversions said…
Damascene conversions are rare events but the 'life-threatening' experience is not so rare. There have been more than enough in the past twenty-five years. Can you imagine calling a 'Constituent Assembly' to discuss such things 'By Invitation Only'? Or by demanding prior registration? The legitimate business of ruling is defined 'By Consent of the ruled'.

That is all there is to it. Nothing to add except that keeping the ruled in ignorance of this fact only serves to heighten the illegitimacy. Ask George III of England. He found out far too late!
Anonymous said…
i live in Fiji.. so as a citizen.. i have this to say..... what the government has purposed is actually good for the country. It not only improves the economy and it is beneficial for citizen for are living below the poverty line.... this government seems actually care for the people and the country and its main objective is to try move this country to more prospers future not only for the near future but for the generations to come. I do agree that the way the government went to power may not have been right but if u look at it was there any other way to change the system for the better? Maybe taking over the government by force was not the way to do it but I AM SURE HAPPY THEY DID. For change and process for a better future is what i see.

Popular posts from this blog

Lessons from Africa

Fijian Holdings Scandal: Betrayal by their trusted sons

The Ratu Tevita Saga, Coup4.5, Michael Field, the ANU Duo, and Tonga