ROUNDUP FOR Wednesday 25 September 2013

"Look North Policy." I don't know what to make of Government's reach into the Middle East, with the PM meeting the Iranian President and Ambassador Robin Nair meeting the Emir or Ajman, one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, but if they keep going, I'm sure the USA and Fiji's former traditional allies will experience mounting concern.

Development for Women policy. Six new women's centres will open before the end of the year. Eleven women's resource centres have been built and 12 extended since 2011. Each new centre will have a business plan and focus on core products such as handicrafts, embroidery, jewelly, virgin coconut oil, tailoring, wood carving, catering, baking, salt making and seeweed production. The purpose of the centres is to help mainly underprivileged or rural women generate income for their families.

Election Registration. Registration of overseas Fijian with valid passports and eligible to vote in the 2014 elections started this week in Auckland and Wellington. It will then move to Australia, the UK and the west coast of North America. Some 540,000 people have already registered in Fiji.

Elections to cost $40 million. This is the A-G's estimate. Australia, NZ, the EU, and PNG are working closely with Government in preparation for the election, and PNG has said it will contribute $20 million towards election expenses.

Supervisor of Elections. The post has been advertised, and the person chosen with by appointed by the President of the recommendation of the Constitutional Offices Commission and and Electoral Commission. This procedure is fine for the election after this one when the Leader of Opposition will a member of the COC, but for this election all seems to be in the hands of the PM and the A-G. A bridging arrangement is needed to ensure that opinions outside the inner Government circle are consulted. Otherwise, anti-Government groups will maintain the whole thing is a jackup between the PM and A-G. 

But who to add to the commission in the interim? A prominent and well-respected lawyer, professional, businessman or community leader, or one or more of the country's university Vice-Chancellors?

The Commissioner of Police. The same criticism can be made about the appointment of the next Commissioner of Police, whose position is vacant with the expiration this week of Brig. Ioane Naivalurua's contract. The current Constitution Offices Commission is not the transparent and balanced commission detailed in the Constitution.


Anonymous said…
Why would a bridging arrangement be needed for this election? It can't be that some rants of the corrupt old parties is sufficient a reason to compromise the clear and transparent path that the AG and the PM have taken. Why on earth would they want to relinquish control over a process that will be critical for Fiji's future? Only if and when our AG calls the shots, the re-emergence of the old corrupt politicians can be avoided. It would certainly be the wrong time to waver now.
Anonymous said…
Are we talking about Fiji or the middle east? Are the Fiji military totally brain dead?
Anonymous said…
There is real danger in just handing decisions on the country's future to an uneducated and opportunistic electorate. With liumuri genetically programmed into the mind set, Fijian voters may at the last moment decide to stab the AG and the PM in the back and ignore the enormous achievements these two man have made possible. Therefore a closely controlled election process in the answer. The good news is that our brothers from PNG will be election observers, they will have a much better understanding of the key issues than a few aloof bureaucrats from the EU. Personally, I do not believe that 2014 is the right time for elections, it would be much better to keep the current leaders in control until 2020. This would allow to make sure that the electorate is educated and understands the issues. On the other hand I can understand that our AG and PM want to legitimise their rule, the flow of aid and loans will depend on this and the travel bans won't be lifted without going through the hoops of an election.
beatricea said…
and we can expect the regime to take as much notice of your advice Crosbie as they do from anyone else still don't get it? You are either in full agreement with every element of what they want and publicly so, or as far they are concerned you can shut up...

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