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The booklet and my opinion in red

Factual inaccuracies in booklet

Losalini Rasoqosoqo
Suva
Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has outlined some of factual inaccuracies in the Citizens’ Constitutional Forum 2013 Fiji Government Constitution booklet.
CCF: the definition of Cabinet is a body of advisers to the President who lead the ministries, secretaries or departments of government. There is no limitation to number of ministers.
A-G: Everybody knows that Cabinet consists of the Prime Minister and the number of ministers is determined by the PM. Has any Constitution set a limitation before? In 2006, we had 36 ministers. Suddenly now it has become a problem.(The booklet does not say this is a problem but merely points out the facts)
CCF: 1997 Constitution was abrogated in 2006.
A-G: It was abrogated in 2009. How can one make such a mistake? (Legally this is an error but the constitution was not followed after the coup so was correct but not legally correct)
CCF: 2013 Fiji Government Constitution
A-G: If the booklet is going to be objective, why does it say Fiji Government Constitution?(Nitpicking the difference between the words Fiji Government Constitution and the Constitution written by the current Government)
CCF: Preamble does not recognise history of Constitution making and remains silent on history that led to the 2013 Constitution.
A-G: You will find numerous references to different opinions in this booklet. It is not a factual booklet. It does not tell you in plain language what is exactly in Constitution. (Normally a new Constitution starts with a preamble explaining why it is replacing the previous Constitution. Perhaps the current preamble did not want to start with “First we threw a Coup”)
This is a total disregard to our history. When you talk about history it depends who is writing it. The 1970 Constitution missed out on various aspects of Fijian history so did the 1990 Constitution. Some say the 1990 Constitution distorted history.
CCF: Protection of Bill of Rights is weak because parliament has powers to limit or restrict freedom.
A-G: Any lawyer would tell you the test of necessity is similar as was applied in 1997 Constitution. Limitation of rights can be challenged in court. (The powers to limit or restrict freedom have always been present but the Bill of Rights is not as stronng in protecting us as we would like.)
CCF: PM and A-G have control over the Judicial Services Commission
A-G: They don’t. The commission is an independent five-member commission.(appointed by the AG and PM)
CCF: People who have been given immunity have unqualified immunity.
A-G: That’s not true. If you commit a crime like rape you are not covered. The Constitution has clear provisions.(The AG needs to realise the people involved in the coup given immunity have unqualified immunity and talking about rapists is merely a smokescreen)
Feedback: losalinir@fijisun.com.fj

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5 thoughts on “The booklet and my opinion in red

  1. Come on leave our brilliant AG alone. He cannot tolerate an old booze head soiling his excellent constitution. Where would Fiji be if every man and his dog could go around printing pamphlets against our AG? We should all support him, obey him and hoopoe that we get a piece of the large pie he has in his larder. Support the AG and get rich quickly, oppose the AG and go to jail quickly! There is nothing wrong with a bit of butt kissing and the AG really, really enjoys when the Taukies bend down and do exactly that.

  2. not only the Taukeis. everybody is welcome to bend down for the AG. Indians have a long history of doing that. there were Indians doing that for the British Raj .
    they were called chamchas.
    we have our share of Indian chamchas in Fiji bending down for AG and PM

  3. The truth about the 2013 constitution was already known by all. The booklet circulated by the CCF is merely putting that truth on paper. Where ever and when ever the truth cannot be concealed for ever. It will always surface and prevails to set all free!

  4. We read in the Fiji Times (10/4) that ‘CCF holds back booklet’ because the Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum is not happy with it.
    In the new and better Fiji that Aiyaz has so magnanimously built for us in the last 8 years the least everyone can do is to keep him happy.
    One sure way of doing that is to always remember -without forgetting- that when there is a difference in interpretation of any laws made by Aiyaz by any party, Aiyaz’s interpretation must prevail. He is after all our foremost legal mind. And, most of the laws he has put in place is not subject to review in any case.
    We couldn’t have asked for a truer form of democracy, could we?

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