THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY – Bainimarama’s total control shows due Constitutional progress in Fiji is doomed –

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

Can anyone believe what this man says?

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’.

Can anyone trust this man’s false promises?

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

Party member Attar Singh claims they’ve encouraged people to take part in the electronic voter registration process.

NFP questions constituent assembly’s selection criteria

07:02 Today


Taken from/By: FBC News Report by: Christopher Chand

The National Federation Party wants major political parties to be included in the Constituent Assembly.

The party met in Lautoka yesterday to hear their members’ views before making their official submission to the Constitution Commission next month.

The NFP is the oldest political party in the country and they believe the core of the 1997 constitution should be maintained.

Party leader Raman Pratap Singh says one of the most important components heading into the 2014 elections is the electoral system.

“A provision of the electoral system should enable us to get the proportional number of seats in our favor. So the leadership is of that view.”

Party member Attar Singh claims they’ve encouraged people to take part in the electronic voter registration process.

“Let me assure you that the NFP is not that party. We have not at anytime asked or encouraged any of our supporters and friends not to register. Because we want to make sure that a large number of people are registered.”

Yesterday’s meeting has helped the NFP decide what kind of submissions they will be making to the commission next month.

The draft constitution will be given back to the people

“The draft constitution will be given back to the people to have their comments and then it goes to the Constituent Assembly which will be made up of the people who represent various communities, not just the political parties but various level of the community, villages, settlements, districts and religious people, social institutions, women and youth groups.”

Now the Constitutional Commission doesn’t understand…….It says the Constitution Commission is wrong in its claims about media freedom, access to the courts, and powers of the security forces. It says the media and the courts are independent and that the security forces are subject to the country’s laws.

Fiji interim dismisses criticism from the Constitutional Commission

Posted at 08:28 on 19 July, 2012 UTC

The interim Fiji Government is rejecting the criticism levelled at its latest decrees by the Constitution Commission.

The Commission believes the new Constitutional Commission and Constituent Assembly Decrees are undemocratic.

Don Wiseman has more:

“The Commission says the push for immunity for the coup makers to be written into the constitution is undesirable. And it says controls on the media, lack of court access and the wide reaching powers of the security forces are particularly worrying. But the interim government claims the new decrees set out the framework for a free, fair, and open constitutional process. It says immunity is common in nations promoting reconciliation. The government says having the prime minister decide who can sit in the Constituent Assembly will ensure a broadly representative body is formed. It says the Constitution Commission is wrong in its claims about media freedom, access to the courts, and powers of the security forces. It says the media and the courts are independent and that the security forces are subject to the country’s laws. And it says none of the issues raised by the Commission have any bearing on its mandate as laid out by the decree that created it.”

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Fiji regime makes immunity for coupmakers a pillar of new constitution…….George Speight and others to be Freed?

Posted at 04:08 on 19 July, 2012 UTC

Fiji’s interim government says any draft constitution must include immunity for the events that emanated back in 1987 which is the year Fiji had the first of its four military coups.

Following the release of new decrees, the interim-attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, says after the 2014 elections, no immunity will be given to members of the police or the military.

He says next year a Constituent Assembly will be set up whose membership will be determined by the interim prime minister.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum says the draft constitution will go to the President who will then pass it to a tribunal appointed by the chief justice.

The tribunal is to check that the draft is in line with the non-negotiable terms and the immunity provisions.

The 2014 constitution is to replace the 1997 which the regime abrogated three years ago when the appeal court found that the post-coup administration was illegal.

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