STATEMENT No 16: SECOND STATEMENT ON THE EQUAL CITIZENRY DEBATE.
AUGUST 6, 2014
The Bainimarama government has no right to lecture anyone on the merits of equal citizenry. Its 2013
Constitution contradicts the very essence of what this means.
It claims equal citizenry as a founding value. But then goes on to provides absolute, unconditional and
irrevocable immunity to the President, Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers, members of the Republic of
the Fiji Military forces, Fiji Police, Fiji Correction Services, the Judiciary, the Public Service and any public
They are immune from any criminal prosecution and from any civil or other liability in any proceedings as a
result of any direct or indirect participation in the Government from the 5th Dec 2006 until the first sitting of
the first parliament enacted after the start of the 2013 constitution.
The same chapter bans law-abiding citizens from making any claims for losses or injuries caused by the
actions of persons covered by this immunity.
It is hypocritical that the institutions responsible for administering law and order should themselves be
protected by this immunity while charging or passing judgment on citizens who have no such protection.
What this means is that a group of people who committed crimes have been placed above and beyond the
reach of the law. This is a perfect example of the constitution giving superior citizenry to some, while
denying this to the vast majority. This supports the comments that Qarase was trying to make that there is
no such thing as equal citizenry in the 2013 constitution