Yash Ghai, Chairman of the Constitutional Review Commission, has now concluded receiving submissions. A Constitution will be drafted and presented at a later stage to a creation
of the current regime called the Constituent Assembly, that body being purported to be created by another of the illegal Khaiyum Decrees which the regime continues to issue on the pattern of the practice followed in the seventeenth century by the Stuart kings.
The body imitates the name of the Constituent Assembly set up in France between 1789 and 1791 and it is very much hoped that those perceived by the regime to be opposed to it will not be subject to the guillotine as were those targeted in the French Revolution. No doubt an even worse fate is in store for them under Khaiyum.
The Constitution as drafted by Yash Ghai and his team will be subject entirely to the wishes of the Constituent Assembly. That Assembly will be at liberty to make whatever changes it wishes in his draft and even to reject it altogether. Yash Ghai has already publicly admitted this. He has stated that all members of the Assembly will be ‘totally picked by Frank.’ (perhaps unfortunately for a scholar of his distinction he seems to be on first name terms with the dictator).
Section 9 of the relevant Decree purports to give the alleged Prime Minister full control over the size and composition of the Constituent Assembly, a matter recently taken issue with (quite rightly) by the Fiji Labour Party.
Yash Ghai, unfortunately, seems to have a touching and indeed childlike faith in ‘Frank’.
The Council respectfully points out that ‘Frank’ cannot be trusted to properly and impartially regulate the size and composition of the Assembly. His track record totally contradicts any element of trust in his judgments and decisions. His recent advance vetoing of Shamima Ali from the Assembly is simply a sign of worse to come. His arranging for prosecution of the political leaders who garnered the vast bulk of votes in the last democratic election is calculated to ensure that they are not represented in the Assembly.
If Yash Ghai has bought into faith in ‘Frank’s’ judgment, he has joined the ranks of the monkeys who see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.
‘Frank’ in many ways resembles the late US President Richard Nixon, also known as ‘tricky Dicky’.
A common question asked in regard to Nixon was: ‘Would you buy a used car from this man?’
Should the international community and more importantly the people of Fiji buy into a Constituent Assembly from ‘Frank’?
Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara
Council for a Democratic Fiji