It’s now a year since the Constituent Assembly decree was announced. We were told then the Assembly would start its work in the second week of January 2013, and finish by the third week of March. It’s now the third week of March and we still don’t even know who the members will be or what draft they’ll consider.
At the end of January Bainimarama said he would be sending invitations to individuals and organisations to be members of the Constituent Assembly over the course of the next few weeks, with the last of the invitations to go out after February 14, the deadline for existing political parties to register under the new Political Parties Decree.
All this has come and gone. The Registrar of Elections has also gone and still no word of what’s happening about Party Registrations or the Constituent Assembly.
So have invitations gone out as planned to any members of the Constituent Assembly?
Two weeks ago Coup 4.5 speculated that Bainimarama planned to unveil a Singapore style constitution which would have the President chosen by a Constituent Assembly, presumably the one chosen by Bainimarama himself.
This would get around the problem of easing the Playboy incumbent out of the office of President. It wouldn’t be a decision by Bainimarama but by the so-called representative Constituent Assembly.
Only by proceeding directly to the office of President can Bainimarama get over the problem of having no party to help him win election as Prime Minister.
It’s long been his ambition to become President and there have been past rumours of a plan to evict the incumbent he appointed in 2009. but these rumours have come to nothing. In fact he was re-appointed at the end of last year for a term to last until 2015, after the elections.
Rather than meaning the rumours were wrong, this probably indicates Bainimarama got cold feet. Could he now be having cold feet over the plan to unveil a constitution which will pave the way for him to become President before the elections? Overthrowing his High Chief and a former Commander RFMF he appointed President could be the last straw for too many of his officers.