World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

'Consult The People' Fiji Times

Fiji Times Tells Administration 'Consult The People'

SUVA: The Fiji Times, the country's largest and most influential daily
newspaper, today warned the military-backed interim administration to
remove "national ignorance" and consult the people before adopting a new
constitution.

It said the nation had now seen the consequences of national ignorance
over constitutional rights through coups twice in 13 years.

Interim Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase's administration must ensure that
first everyone understood the 1997 constitution which had been abrogated
during the May insurrection, said the Fiji Times.

"It must then establish whether the people - the majority - want the
constitution removed," said the paper.

"The best way to establish this is by referendum.

"A parallel referendum could be held to determine what the indigenous
people want.

"This will put an end once and for all to their use as a political tool.

"Once Mr Qarase is sure of what the people want he can move on the
constitution. Not before."

In a submission to an African Caribbean Pacific fact-finding mission in
Fiji this week, Qarase claimed the reinstatement of the 1997 multiracial
constitution and the appointment of a "government of natonal unity"
from MPs elected in the ousted Parliament would not be acceptable to the
majority of indigenous Fijians.

He also outlined plans to select a constitution review commission which
would draft and submit guidelines.

Qarase said the new constitution should be ready by 2001 and elections
could be held a year later.

The Fiji Times warned of the consequences of failing to consult the
people.

Although the 1997 constitution was adopted after wide-ranging
consultation and consensus support from Parliament and the Great Council
of Chiefs, there was no referendum consulting the people.

"The formulation of a new constitution is a painstaking task," said the
paper in its editorial.

"It is as difficult and time-consuming as it is expensive.

"With more than 6000 out of work and the civil service taking a 12.5 per
cent salary cut, there can be little justification on spending
much-needed money on the review of a document which is barely four years
old.

"The events of the last 30 years have shown that there has been very
little wrong with the supreme laws of the land.

"Divisions blamed on the constitution have been based largely on
ignorance.

"Few would disagree that there is very little understanding among the
common people - and even the so-called education classes - on the 1997
constitution.

"There are flaws - peceived and genuine - in this document and that is
to be accepted.

"No constitution in any country will ever be flawless.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Covid: 250 Groups Urge WTO Chief To Ditch Pharma-Friendly Approach And Embrace Vaccine Patent Waiver

by Jake Johnson, staff writer An international coalition of 250 civil society groups on Tuesday urged the head of the World Trade Organization to embrace a temporary suspension of coronavirus vaccine-related patents, warning against pursuit of a voluntary ... More>>

Samoa’s Stunning Election Result: On The Verge Of A New Ruling Party For The First Time In 40 Years

Tamasailau Suaalii Sauni , University of Auckland and Patricia A. O'Brien , Georgetown University Samoan politics is on a knife edge. After the country voted in general elections on April 9, counting so far has resulted in a dead heat between the two ... More>>

Timor-Leste: UN Agencies Support Response In Wake Of Deadly Floods

United Nations agencies in Timor-Leste are supporting response efforts, as floods and landslides left widespread damage across the country, including in the capital, Dili. According to media reports, at least 21 people died in the country and many ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

Awake At Night: S3-Episode 21: There Is Hope

Brazzaville visit to CSI Pilote du Diabete with Health workers at a local government clinic. 2018 - Photo: ©CSI/Dr. Soumya Swaminathan 'When it comes to a pandemic, it really needs global collaboration and solidarity because the pathogens and viruses More>>

UN: Growing Calls For Revamping Development Financing To Ensure Sustainable Global Recovery From COVID-19 Pandemic

Forum to highlight new initiatives to tackle inequalities exacerbated by pandemic With many economies reeling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as inequalities continue to widen, world leaders will discuss options to unlock concrete investments ... More>>

How Can We Vaccinate The World? Five Challenges Facing The UN-Backed COVAX Programme

The aim of the UN-backed COVAX scheme is to get two billion vaccine doses into the arms of around a quarter of the population of poorer countries by the end of 2021. What are the main challenges that need to be overcome, if this historic global effort ... More>>