Frank Bainimarama has announced that work on a new Constitution will start in September 2012 – almost 3 years from now.
Outlining the regime’s strategic framework for change, Bainimarama told Fiji today that the regime’s current focus or priority is to strengthen the economy, bring in land reforms and improve infrastructure.
He said essentially, the next 3 years will be devoted to socio-economic and infrastructure conditions, followed by the formulation of what he described as a modern day Constitution.
He says the new Constitution will be based on the Peoples Charter.
Bainimarama re-iterated the new Constitution will entrench common and equal citizenry, eradicate ethnic voting - or in other words remove guaranteed communal seats for Fijians, Indians and General Electors - reduce the voting age to 18, and have systems to hold an administration accountable with more checks and balances.
The interim prime minister said the new Constitution would be in place by September 2013, claiming it will give time for all citizens and candidates for the September 2014 elections to familiarize themselves with its provisions.
He says the new Constitution will be translated into the vernacular languages and pocket sized copies will be made available to all people.
Bainimarama said political parties, civil society groups and all citizens will be consulted before a Constitution is finalised.