#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Replacement Constitution timeline announced

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Replacement Constitution timeline announced

The 'masterpiece' has been revealed: three months of civic education, followed by three months of 'consultations' from July to September from which a Constitution will be put together (October to December). According to the regime timeline a draft document should be ready by January 2013 - taking almost a year to put together.

Frank Bainimarama's speech:
Bula Vinaka and Good Morning.
Ladies and gentlemen, today is a remarkable day in the history of Fiji. The process of formulating Fiji’s new constitution is being launched.

The way Fijians have come together to rebuild, to share, to care during and after the recent floods demonstrates the capacity that we – irrespective of our individual backgrounds, ethnicities, and religions – can work together.

We can study together. We can live together as Fijians. We are one nation. And I ask every Fijian to keep this in mind and not be distracted by petty politics and politicians as we embark upon the constitutional formulation process.

Formulating a new constitution that will be relevant to a new and modern Fiji will require that we unselfishly, patiently, and inclusively complete the process with integrity and honesty.

It must be done properly. When we are done, Fiji will have an enduring blueprint for all Fijians.

Every Fijian who wants to contribute and be forward-looking in the creation of an enlightened constitution will have the opportunity to do so.

For the first time, everyone will have a voice. This is a fundamental part of the constitutional formulation process that cannot be and must not be compromised.
The constitution must be premised on the fundamental values and principles set out in the People’s Charter for Change, which my Government has been advocating and implementing.

These principles and values are universally recognized and aspired to. Therefore, these principles and values are non-negotiable. They are:
• A common and equal citizenry;
• A secular state;
• The removal of systemic corruption;
• An independent judiciary;
• Elimination of discrimination;
• Good and transparent governance;
• Social justice;
• One person, one vote, one value;
• The elimination of ethnic voting;
• Proportional representation; and
• A voting age of 18.

Civic Education
In the month of May, we will commence a civic education programme, to last until July.

As stated in the book “Constitution-making and Reform”, published by Interpeace and authored by international experts, to have effective consultations, the public must be well informed of the issues that they need to think about, that they need to address, and that they need to express.

If the public is not educated about the issues to consider, then the process will be useless.

The guide by Interpeace noted that during Fiji’s 1997 consultations, some Fijians were not given enough information and materials to understand the issues they needed to consider for the constitutional process.

Some people did not feel they had a voice, or that their voices would not be heard. There was not enough information available to educate and facilitate a fully participatory consultative process.
We cannot allow this to happen again.
We want true consultations. We want to hear from ordinary Fijians, not just the elite or the well connected.

The guide concluded that civic education plays a critical role in ensuring informed public contributions and constructive debate during the constitution-making process.

In order to facilitate the civic education programme, from now until April, the Government will collate and print material highlighting issues for all Fijians to think about before they make their voices heard in the consultation process.

To ensure Fijians understand and contribute meaningfully, all informational material will be distributed in urban, rural, and maritime areas—to farmers; to fishermen; to youth; and to women’s organizations. In short, to everyone.

These materials will include the People’s Charter for Change and a list of issues that need to be considered in any constitution-making process.
The kinds of issues that the public should consider in advance of the consultations include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Do we want economic and social rights to be included in the Bill of Rights? In other words, should there be a right to basic housing, to clean drinking water, to basic health services, to electricity?
• What should be the size of Parliament? Should it be reduced from previous numbers?
• How do we attract better quality candidates to Parliament?
• Should we have a Senate? If so, should Senators be elected or selected?
• How should the judiciary be selected?
• Should political parties and their office holders disclose their assets and liabilities?

July – September
Following the civic education process, consultations will commence between the Constitutional Commission and the citizens of Fiji.

This will commence on July 2nd and end on September 30th. It is imperative that all Fijians be given access to the consultation process.

We will accordingly need to ensure, for example, that adequate transportation is provided to citizens—in particular in the rural and maritime areas—to attend the consultation forums and meetings.

The Constitutional Commission, which must be adequately staffed and resourced, will consist of five people: two international experts and three Fijians.
I’m happy to announce that the Chairperson of the Constitutional Commission will be Professor Yash Ghai, internationally renowned constitution and human rights expert.
Two of the three distinguished Fijians who will be members of the Constitutional Commission include:
• Taufa Vakatale, the first female Deputy Prime Minister of Fiji; and
• Satendra Nandan, Academic writer, former Member of Parliament.
We intend to announce the names of the last two members in due course.

October – December
From October to the end of December 2012, the Constitutional Commission will collate the public submissions. Based on the Guiding Principles, the Commission will draft a constitution.
The draft constitution will then – in January 2013 – be submitted to a Constituent Assembly.

January – March
The Constituent Assembly will consist of representative civil society groups and organizations that are Fijian-registered, including faith-based organizations, national institutions, political parties, and Government.

The Assembly will consider the draft constitution in an inclusive and transparent process, based on the Guiding Principles. The rules for the Constituent Assembly, such as quorum, speaking rights, and voting shall be finalized with the assistance of international experts prior to the formation of the Constituent Assembly. We expect to announce the composition of the Constituent Assembly by December of this year.

It should be noted – ladies and gentlemen – that we had a similar constituent assembly only a few years ago in the form of the National Council for Building a Better Fiji.

We hope that all organizations will participate in this Constituent Assembly. Our objective is to hear all Fijian voices.
It is expected that the Constituent Assembly will debate the draft constitution and make amendments if and where necessary.

Once the Constituent Assembly approves the constitution by the end of February 2013, it will then be assented to by His Excellency the President.

My fellow Fijians, the next 12 months is going to be crucial in determining the future of our beloved country. We must all be forthcoming, actively contribute to, and participate in this process with the view to ensure a better Fiji for all Fijians. We must put aside any prejudices, any self-interest, and political ambitions. In doing so, we will ensure peace, prosperity, economic well-being, and a sustained and true democracy for all.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

The chairperson is an international expert on Human Rights. What a hypocrite you are Vuaka.

Anonymous said...

Can call everyone one in Fiji Fijians but in NZ the Indians cannot be included as Pacific Islanders because they are not.Sorry Baini your bait is too weak and only fools will trap by it.

Anonymous said...

Well, it he's an expert on human rights and he's taken the job, maybe he doesn't think your constant bleating about human rights in Fiji is justified.

Anonymous said...

Transparent indeed.For the people and not inspired by former politicians which I think is just Good for everybody

Anonymous said...

http://www.matavuvale.com/forum/topics/back-to-democracy-for-fiji?id=2150904:Topic:743277&page=4883#comments


someone has the ideas for frank exposed in form of 7 plans and phases

Anonymous said...

How come two indians and a female indegenous will decide the fate of 70% taukie?

Anonymous said...

Will there be room for criminals and murderers, thieves and treasonists to stand for parliament?
woops . . oh dear surely we can accommodate them in the new transparent Fiji, free of fraud and corruption.
Perhaps a special political party exclusively for these REFORMED criminals.
. . . what pathetic hypocrisy from the chief criminal.

Anonymous said...

More Bullshit coming from the mouth of Bainimarama.
1) He says that we are to follow the Charter but he himself has broken the first rule of the Charter ie to uphold the Constitution
2: A "common and equal citizenry"
Really!
What a load of bullshit.
Everyone is equal except if you are his relative then you get a free ride to Posts in Government which you are not qualified for eg his daughter running Sports Council and all his other relatives getting top jobs.
4)"Removal of systemic corruption"
Why doesn'the just remove himself.
He is corrupt . All that leave pay of $140,000 etc etc
Changing the Laws to suit himself and Chaudry etc etc
Isn't that corruption.

Does this person even listen to himself talking?

5)"Independant Judiciary" - you gotta laugh at this one.
Here is a person who released murderers of Rabaka because they were his friends.
What an idiot!
6)"Good and Transparent government" Hahahahaha!
You should ask Avisai from Kadavu what he thinks of that one. He was beaten up at the maingate at Army Camp for daring to talk to Bainimarama.
7) Blah blah blah!
etc etc etc
Lies, lies and more lies.

Does any one really believe him?
Do Fijians really believe this crap?
honestly?

-Valataka na Dina.

Anonymous said...

Why change the constitution. Bai and his coup supporters needs to be charged and convicted first for their crimes. It is sad to see ordinary people being charged and convicted of crimes while those who consider themselves above the law are allowed to go free. What a shame to all Fiji citizens who are not doing any thing to put right this wrong.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Frank, great work! Please invite Qarase, Rabuka and Chaudhry as ex-PMs. This will also shut most of your critics' mouths. More importantly, the international community will admire your humility and the Fijians will not be so divided. Remember if you want to start from an almost clean slate, at least include elected PMs who live to be part of this part of Fiji's history.

Anonymous said...

. . . . . we must put aside prejudices and self interest.
Does this mean we cannot want murderers and thieves brought to justice. That would be prejudiced.
We cannot want to see treasonists and fraudsters be judged by the free and new Fiji courts. That would be prejudiced and even self interest.

what a load of BS from the mouth of the chief BS'ter.
your day will come franky & co.

Anonymous said...

and we can expect the next military thug feeling threatened or merely ambitious to scrap this constitution too when it suits coz ther aint' no consequence and ample precedent!!!

Living a giant legal fiction.. said...

International expert my backside.
Hasn't even dawned on the Bearded Indian one (expert?) that what he's embarking on is "un-constitutional" by its very nature. You can't abrogate Viti's "existing legal constitution" because by every defination under law your regime employer is an "illegal entity".
Viti's own court system has verified this very fact?
Just another expensive lawyers snout in the trough window dressing excercise - something Viti can ill afford in these uncertain economic times.

Anonymous said...

This is all bullshit talk. We had a perfect constitution in the 1997 one which was the envy of the world. You crushed it just because you did not want to go to jail for the murder of the CRW. All these pain and hardship the country is going thru is because of the fear of one man. You are a murderer criminal full stop. You must go to jail, that's where you belong not dictating how the constitution of a country should be shaped. organising the con

Anonymous said...

Why the need for a new constitution? We have a legitimate constitution that had been through two courts, in 2001 and 2009 and three general elections, 1999, 2001 and 2006. The same constitution has landed two political parties in parliament, and the second time that the same party won, it implemented the multi-party provision of the constitution.

The Mara government used the 1970 constitution, the Rabuka government used the 1990 constitution, the Chaudry government and the Qarase governments used the 1997 constitution, are constitutions for the people or for the leaders?, of course they should be the people.
Most multiracial, multi-religious, and multi-sectoral countries of progressive and economically vibrant democracies have just had one constitution but several ammendments over the years through its legitimate processes.
The ammendments come from the people through their freely elected and legitimate representatives.
How long will the so called new constitution last? Is it until another government comes to power or until another forceful take-over? Governments do change but constitutions do not change with them. Manifestos change with governments, constitutions provide for ammendments within their provisions, BUT are not changed.
We in Fiji have had enough constitutions already during our lifetime, and we do not necessarily need another one.
The current constitutions has more than enough provisions within its framework for a prosperous and a brighter Fiji, it is not the constitution but more of the governance aspect of leadership that is desired.
What we do not want is;
1. An end to illegal take-over of governments.
2. Reduced corruption, nepotism, unfair practices in selection, appointments, etc.
3. Fair economic distribution and production, with equal and fair opportunities for all citizens.
The constituent council should agree on some of these issues and allow the parliament elected under the 1997 constitution to formalize the ammendments.
After all all constitutions basically hold fundamental similarities, why reinvent the wheel?
In the sports, we at times win and sadly lose at other times, but the rules are not abandoned for new ones, they are only amended for the good of the sport. Players and captains come and go.

Anonymous said...

Anonymouse@6.25. Are you dumb or are you dumb? The chairperson, the so-called expert on human rights has a connection to Aiyarsehole. He supervised Aiyarsehole when he was writing that useless thesis of his. Get it into your thick head that this is all a sham. The pig vocekemarama and his sidekick are the biggest cons and frauds ever seen in Fiji. Go back to school and learn.

Anonymous said...

all bs from ag taliban/bai.
we dont need any other const only 1997 .
that it.

Kenneth Zinck said...

Bainimarama dishing out more lies lies and hypocrisy on the announcement of the Consitutional Commission. Bai broke all the rules when he committed TREASON and now pontificates as the righteous. What a load of CRAP Bainimarama. Who are you fooling. Your destiny is near at hand. Kenneth Zinck

Anonymous said...

tamata lasulasu o bai

Anonymous said...

Dont think FB really wrote this speech..It doesnt have "I really dont know", "umm", "eerrr","maybe" and "I think"...

Anonymous said...

Bainimarama has no more right to decide on the shape of Fiji's constitutional discussions than have I. Did you give him that authority? Did anyone? Can an act of treason give him that right?

Yash Ghai, Yash Ghai... Yash Ghai is the name regime apologists trot out every time there's talk of a dialogue process. Yash Ghai vice Sir Paul Reeves, Yash Ghai to moderate for the UN, Yash Ghai to moderate for the Commonwealth, Yash Ghai to moderate the President's Political Dialogue Process, etc.

The regime seems awfully intent on soliciting the help of Yash Ghai. Could this be based on the kind of reception he gave to Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum's thesis in Hong Kong? Since the revelations of the BOI report totally rubbished the premises of ASK's thesis, perhaps Prof. Ghai should now lower his pupil's score.

I'll give him this, Yash Ghai is much more of a credible 'human rights expert' than Akuila Yabaki or (LOL) Shaista Shameem. So far, Yash Ghai has had the sense--and, giving him the benefit of the doubt, possibly the integrity-- to turn down overtures to serve as moderator. Or is it that the regime simply canceled the dialogues?

I guess Great Britain, with the world's oldest constitution, and the United States, with the world's oldest written constitution, must be plum out of constitutional experts. Only Yash Ghai is available.

Or IS he? This scenario calls to mind the old Groucho Marx quip: "I don't care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members." No human rights expert with integrity or common sense would agree to participate in a constitutional process already being rigged under these terms.

s/ Dakuwaqa

Anonymous said...

Hey Dakuwaqa, you Big bad fish-hows the lumi in Newfee-land???

Anonymous said...

EVEN WITH THOSE BULLCRAP LAUNCHING OF THE CONSULTATION WHATEVER AND WHAT YOU SAID FROM YOUR LOVER BOY,PREPARED SPEECH,I DON'T HAVE NO RESPECT FOR YOU AND YOUR ILLEGAL REGIME-YOU'RE AN ILLEGAL GOVERNMENT AND EVERYTHING YOU PREPARED OR SAY WILL BE ILLEGAL PERIOD,WHY TAKING THE LONG ROAD BAI???????THERE IS A SIMPLE WAY TO FOLLOW..JUST PACK YOUR BULLSHIT ARMY AND RETURN TO DELAINABUA...WE THE PEACE LOVING PEOPLE OF FIJI,STILL BELIEVE AND REMAIN INTACT WITH THE LEGAL 1997 CONSTITUTION BECAUSE IT WAS PASSED BY A LEGAL CHOSEN BY THE PEOPLE GOVERNMENT.
I BEG YOU NOW RETURN TO DELAINABUA OR FIJI WILL BURN DOWN....ITS BETTER FOR ONE +{KAI'ASS} PERSON TO DIE THEN WE AND OUR GENERATION TO SUFFER.WE DON'T NEED THAT BULLSHIT CONSTITUTION.... JUST PREPARE IT FOR YOUR BULLSHIT TOY SOLDIERS YAVU NO WAR EXCEPT OUR TRUE VETERANS OF SOLOMON AND MALAYAN WAR HEROES ..THOSE WERE OUR TRUE SOLDIERS..WE STILL AND WILL ALWAYS RESPECT AND SALUTE THEM..NOT YOUR ARMY VORE...AGAIN NO RESPECT!!!LOOKING FORWARD TO THE DAY WHEN YOU WOULD COME TO A CLOSE CONTACT SITUATION AND WHO KNOWS USAIN BOLTS 100M WORLD RECORD WILL BE SMASHED OR EGUAL..WANANAVU,TOSO MAI VITI-LETS MEET THEM HEAD ON,NEXT WEEK AT SUKUNA PARK-1100..NA QAI QO ENA QAI GA RAGONE,DA MAI TU VA IVALU MADA...NA BITU ME BAU MAI E-COLO.OSO KATE!!!