Showing posts from November 10, 2013

The CCF Critique of the 2013 Constitution by Nazhat Shameem

The Citizens Constitution Forum  criticized the 2013 Constitution on several counts that have been noted in earlier postings.  I asked the former Director of Public Prosecutions (1994-99) and Fiji's first woman High Court Judge, Mde Nazhat Shameem, for her opinions on what the critique had to say about the judiciary. This is a substantial response that points to a number of important errors in the CCF critique. Her response should be read now and kept for future reference.-- Croz Walsh.

This is a comment only of the portion of the CCF analysis of the Constitution which deals with the judiciary. I leave the other parts of the analysis to others who may wish to comment. However, given the gross inaccuracies in relation only to the sections relevant to the judiciary, one cannot be optimistic about the validity of the CCF analysis on any other part of the Constitution.
In considering only the part dealing with the judiciary I found some surprising matters. Firstly, the analysis was …

“The 2014 Budget: Selling the Farm Assets” by Wadan N arsey

Prominent Fiji economist Professor Wadan Narsey is well known as a longstanding critic of the Bainimarama government. In this critique of the 2013 Budget his main point is that in the absence of Auditor-General reports and pubic access to accounts there is no way of knowing whether government is telling the truth. He acknowledges the good things in the Budget but thinks asset sales are not in Fiji's best interests, that the pay increases for civil servants is "vote buying" (though he conceded the Qarase government did the same in 2006),  and that lower corporate and personal taxes increases inequality.  

Many will agree, or at least think he has made a case, in much of what he says, especially on "lack of transparency", but some economists would argue that lower taxes and asset sales are beneficial, and  his reference, towards the end of the article,  to the young people who were arrested while having what he called "a picnic" shows how his personal op…