NEWS AND COMMENTS MONDAY 26 AUGUST 2013

Photo credit: Fiji Live.
METHODISTS URGED TO UNITE.   Former Church President Rev. Dr Ilaitia Tuwere said they should put away their differences and reconcile. They should listen to each other and work for a common goal for the betterment of the church and the nation. He was speaking at the induction service of the Church President Rev.Tuikilakila Waqairatu at the Centenary Church yesterday.

 Rev.Koroi was ousted from the Church President's post by Rev. Manasa Lasaro after the 1987 coup.  Following this, the church supported the 1987 and 2000 coups. They also took a hardline approach after the 1987 coup and called for the Sunday ban. The Methodist Church conference starts this morning.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK.
"You've met the internet, haven't you? It turns out that when people are given a chance to argue anonymously, it takes about 15 seconds for the debate to descend into a virtual screaming match, leaving everyone both angrier and stupider." -- Mark Straub in online journal The Pessimist.  [To avoid being considered stupid, I again urge all people making comments to use their real name or at least a pseudonym.]

THE ECONOMICS ASSOCIATION OF FIJI will be hosting a panel discussion on the role of the Central Bank in supporting economic growth.  The seminar will be held on Thursday 29 August 2013 at Tower 11, Reserve Bank of Fiji building at 5:30pm. For more information, contact Mr Matia Tuisawau, Reserve Bank of Fiji,
Telephone: 3223311, Email: matia@rbf.gov.fj


THE PM. Beware! You may easily think that when 'the PM' is mentioned in the Constitution, or by people writing abut the Constitution, they are writing about Voqere Bainimarama.  They are not.  'The PM' refers to anyone elected as PM in 2014 and many more elections thereafter.   So when, for example, the press write that the 'PM Can Make the Call' on emergency powers, they mean all future Prime Ministers,  one of whom may, or may not, be Bainimarama.

CONSTITUTION AIMS TO RESOLVE OLD ISSUES.
The A-G on this and the absence of the old political parties at the briefing session.

SANATAN.
The Shri Sanatan Dharam Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji has welcomed the 2013 Constitution.

THE NATIONAL YOUTH PARTY, now with the required 5000 plus members and $5000, is about the register as a political party. Their Board endorses the constitution as "the best constitution for Fiji."

RABUKA SAYS ACCEPT THE CONSTITUTION. It's time to move on.  

BUT HE'S NOT HAPPY WITH THE OLD POLITICAL PARTIES. In a fuller item in the Fiji Sun, former PM Sitiveni Rabuka said, “Now we have a constitution that we all contributed to and we must support it." He said he was not happy that the political parties had decided to stay out of the constitution briefing that was called by the Government. According to Mr Rabuka, their decision was uncalled for and they should have gone to the briefing to hear what was in the constitution.

“To stay out of the briefing is really uncalled for especially when they will be major players in the 2014 elections.” He said staying out of the briefing would not help them as they prepared for the elections.“The constitution has set the way for the 2014 elections.”

Mr Rabuka said changes could be made in the constitution but there are proper procedures to be followed. “There will be no changes made by airing their concerns and seeking the support of their international counterparts.” Fiji’s main opposition political parties – the Fiji Labour Party (FLP), the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) and the National Federation Party (NFP) are rejecting the constitution.

 Mr Rabuka has urged these political parties to lend their support and contest the elections as changes can only be made in parliament.

POLITICAL PARTIES ANSWERABLE TO THE VOTERS. Political parties will be answerable to voters for not attending the briefing on the new constitution, says the Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, adding that it is unfortunate that politicians see the new constitution as a political document instead of taking the opportunity to participate.At the end of the day there is a process that needs to be followed and the constitution will be put into effect.

Referring to demands the Yash Ghai draft constitution be implemented because it was "the people's draft", he said: "Frankly, we do not know of any person who made a submission to the Ghai commission that said let's have 140 member people’s assembly, that going to be unelected.  How can that be the people's view? The Ghai draft would [also] have allowed for same sex marriage. The majority of the people that you would go to in Fiji will say that they don’t agree to same sex marriage,  so these three political parties are they advocating same sex marriage?”

FREEDOM FROM DISCRIMINATION. The new 2013 constitution has broadened the interpretation of the law on right to equality and freedom from discrimination. It now also protects marital status and pregnancy.  Other rights covered are gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, primary language, economic, social and health status, conscience, sex and age among others. This also applies to the private sector too. Previously certain clubs could for example discriminate women coming to their clubs, now that’s not allowed. I think one club practices that at the moment..Women cannot go to one section of the bar or the pub”.

Saiyed-Khaiyum elaborated on the sexual orientation rights. “The law of marriage will prevail over the unfair discrimination on sexual orientation. So in other words if someone is gay or homosexual whether male or female, they cannot say we need to be married because you have an unfair provision there. What this says is that the law of marriage will take prevalence over that particular provision”.-- FBC.

Comments

BigBlackBallotBox said…
Bainimarama & Khaiyum: "The majority of the people that you would go to in Fiji will say that they don’t agree to same sex marriage"... so it's been removed.


The majority of the people don't agree with continuing the trend of immunity for treason, so they'll be removing that too, right?

Right?

Anonymous said…
So the unelected illegal regime appointed AG says that the LEGITIMATE political parties will be "answerable to the voters"? This is farcical coming from a person in place by force of thugs with guns, NOT voters? This entire regime and its junta constitution are without mandate or credibility. Treason is treason khaiyum.
The PM said…
The PM be aware indeed.

I don't think the current PM can imagine anyone else other than himself being the PM and the Commander of the Military.
Anonymous said…
BBBB
Very boring the same old moan. Barrel of the gun. Thugs. Salaries. Not democratically elected. Anything else? Oh yes. Human rights abusing junta. Cliche cliche cliche.
Anonymous said…
Annon

Why was FLP, SODLPA and NFP begging to be registered. M not an IG supporter but I must confess that the old politics of fiji is not the way forward. While criticing the constitution is their right, it is without doubt that they will be the first ones to start theeir campaign to fight the elextion.

MPC will even kiss FB's arse to stand. He supported Rabuka in 1991. He gave preference to the radical parties over NFP and SVt. He supported the 2006 coup.
Anonymous said…
keep washing feet slurper!
Critic said…
...but true, true, true

The passage of time does not change the history.
Anonymous said…
There is some irony the immunity provision. If this constitution removed immunity for coups, including 2006, I believe there would be no more bickering about its legitimacy. It's highly likely that it would immediately be approved by those who support the government AND those who don't.

A unanimously approved constitution surely has to be the holy grail. If only the drafters were now able to show some intestinal fortitude, we could have the document that everyone wants.
On the side lines in Viti Levu said…
Dear Croz - not sure this fits the thread here but here goes anyway (having been thinking about this)

FOUR Challenges ahead for Frank – a chance to show how genuine he is.

1. Forming a party.

While I don’t think there is any doubt he will be able to find 5000 signatures the questions is will he be able to resist the temptation of using government resources to do this? Can and will the PM be able to form a party fairly and put itself through the same process as the other parties….and will the officials be prepared to call out any discrepancies like they did with other parties ?

2. The campaign trail.

Will Frank be up for the rigour of a campaign debate? Nearly 7 years in and I don’t think I have every seen Frank debate anything – it is not the military way. His main style is to read prepared statements and give orders. He has been finance minister for a long time now but has never taken a single question on the budget. He faces a challenge in moving from all powerful military man to democratic aspirant.

3. Accepting the outcome.

Perhaps the biggest test of all is this. In the event that he does not win the election (this one or the next) will he accept the outcome? If yes then I believe history will treat him well.

4. Parliament.

Assuming he wins power how will he perform in parliament? To date cabinet has been little more than a rubber stamping factory and like point ‘2’ above I don’t think we have every seen him debate anything or anything one. Can he change is style? Can he start to listen to people, accept criticism and make the compromises needed to work effectively in a democracy? Most importantly will he continue his black and white view of everyone discarding everyone that has a different view as ‘against him’.
Anonymous said…
The new constitution is great. It effectively reigns in the rights of strong interest groups such as the unions, the church, political parties etc. It is a constitution for the people by the people. And it has the appropriate immunity provisions to protect our saviour from being persecuted by a mischievous independent judiciary.
Reality said…
Of course that is never going to happen because for all the ranting and raving by the current government about moving the country forward and ending the coup culture, their own self preservation is number one. Always has been (part of the reason for the 2006 coup was for Frank to avoid trial for his role in custody deaths of soldiers) and always wll be.
Anonymous said…
ha ha and long live lord Frank. The good King who always puts himself first. Now thats what leadership is all about.
Anonymous said…
And what about the feral poorly led military? Does it reign in those dimwitted thugs?
Tin Con Beef said…
> Why was FLP, SODLPA and NFP begging to be registered.

Because they had no choice. If they had the option of going back to the old constitution, they would take it. But they have no choice. They can either stand for election under the rules of the junta, or give up without a fight. They are patriots, and will stand for the elections, though they hate to do so.

@ Anon above: Please go back to C45 where you belong. Like you, I am anti-Bainimarama, but unlike you, I like discourse and debate. If you have nothing constructive to say, go back to C45 where you can hurl insults like everyone else there.

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