Bainimarama’s latest statement on land again raises the question: is this man stupid or is he resorting to a desperate lie?
In a Fiji Sun report, which is in effect an official regime statement, he said “if a change in the iTaukei land legislation is proposed in Parliament it has to be passed by three-quarters of the members”.
This is a blatant lie. He has quoted the provisions of his draft constitution about the changing of the constitution. What he didn’t say was that there was no mention of iTaukei land in the draft constitution.
If a future Parliament wanted to re-introduce the protections of the Native Land Trust Act they would need a three-quarters majority to do it – almost impossible, not to mention the further requirement of a three-quarters majority in a referendum.
Bainimarama has already abolished the substance of the Native Land Trust Act. His Land Use Decree over-rides the NLTA to give him complete power over all Native land.
Why has Bainimarama claimed that his draft Constitution protects Fijian land, when it doesn’t mention it? Is he unaware that his illegal Attorney General, when his back was against the wall in a public meeting, has already admitted that there might need to be specific mention of iTaukei land?
The answer to this puzzle is probably that Bainimarama repeats whatever line Sayed-Khaiyum gives him.