Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A leaked constitution article

from w
I switched on the radio to ABC this morning about 7 am. and it was world news. I was surprised to hear the voice of Dr Brij Lal talking about the new constitution or at least a leaked version in simple language. Did they really intend it to get to the blogs first?  Anyway there are no real surprises and a few things to be wary of amidst the good points.

Fiji constitution recommendations leaked

Posted Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:22pm AEDT
Fiji could soon have a largely ceremonial president, to be chosen by a new body known as the Assembly of Fiji.
That's one recommendation included in a leaked report from Fiji's Constitution Commission.
The draft copy of the recommendations is to be officially handed to President Raty Epeli Nailatikau before Christmas, but copies are now available on several blogs.
The leaked document proposes the same number of seats for Fiji's parliament, a term reduced to four years and no senate.
It says the Prime Minister should be limited to two terms.
Fiji has been run by an interim government for six years and democratic elections aren't due until 2014.
The commission has proposed one vote for either an individual or a party, with 71 MPs to represent the four existing electorates.
The report also suggests a review of land laws and measures to address poverty and corruption.
Dr Brij Lal, an academic who co-authored Fiji's 1997 Constitution, has seen the recommendations.
"As I read the document, the President will be elected by an assembly of Fiji which will include the President, Prime Minister and representatives from a hundred or so organisations in the country, NGOs and so on," he said.
"On paper it looks good, but I think that it's problematic in the sense that it sets up a rival centre of power if you will"
He says there are some good initiatives in the recommendations.
"Moving away from a system of racial representation, I think that's a good thing," he said.
"The term of parliament has been reduced to four years which is not necessarily a bad thing."
However, Dr Lal says many questions still need to be answered.
"The document [will be] translated into a constitution, how that is ratified, what provisions of the draft are significantly altered to accommodate the demands of the military, these are questions that we will have to address at a later date."

Fiji's Constitution: A Consultation Document

1 comment:

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Not leaked so it's okay!
Released constitution documents were discussion papers-Ghai
Publish date/time: 13/12/2012 [07:08]

The Constitution Commission has today stated that certain commission documents that have been released on some of the blog sites and are being reported by some media outlets are just discussion papers.

Chairman, Professor Yash Ghai said that the Commission wishes to alert the people not to regard the preliminary proposals as final.

He said last month the Commission held a consultation meeting with leading local experts and public servants on some preliminary proposals for the constitution.

The purpose of the meeting was to get feedback on these proposals as well as listen, more generally, to their views.

Professor Ghai said to describe its release to some blogs as a "leak" is not accurate as the paper was not confidential.

He said the commission's final recommendations will be handed over to the President on the 20th of this month.

Fijivillage has sent questions to Professor Ghai in relation to a number of issues.

We are awaiting a reply from him.

Story by: Vijay Narayan