PCPI Rejects Expanded Role of Military
PCPI Rejects Expanded Role of Military in Civilian Affairs
Wellington, 7 August 2008: PCPI’s has called on the public to reject the recommendation in the People’s Charter of an expanded role of the military in civilian affairs and national governance of the country, saying stability and full democracy in Fiji would never be secured if they were given more powers.
They stated the military’s role do not need to be redefined nor expanded, because the constitution already clearly defines its role. They argued that just because weak and treasonous leaders in the RFMF allowed themselves to be easily manipulated for greed and power should not justify an expansion of the military’s role in public civilian affairs.
The Executive Director, Heffernan says, ““Fiji has a military strength that is ridicules for the size of Fiji’s population, and as long as we feed the monster that we have chosen not to take to task, Fiji will continue to be vulnerable to coups perpetuated with the help of the military”
She added that the architects of the charter had failed miserably in recommending the tough and sensible options in dealing with the military. It is clear that there needs to be a concerted policy of downsizing of the military and this should be linked to the overall public sector reform.
Their proposed solution are a poorly disguised attempt to pacify and accommodate an institution whose leaders refuse to accept the role clearly laid down for them in the constitution. PCPI also stated that the recently released draft people charter has many excellent recommendation in relation to good governance and they can see that it has good intentions. However, PCPI says that a number of recommendations, especially electoral changes will need a proper constitutional parliament to bring about these changes.
Heffernan says, “What the Charter, and its supporters do not tell us is how they intend to propose to legalize these recommendations under the current constitution, and that is the million dollar question” She said that it is pretty deceitful of them to try and sway the public with nice fluffy proposals and yet deny them the basic information of how them intend to bring these changes legally and constitutionally. She said this is the heart of the matter, and the public need to demand these answers from them.
Heffernan added that Mr Samy has publicly stated that he hoped the political forum would help legalize the recommended electoral changes. PCPI advises Mr Sami and his group that they need to go back and read the constitution.