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Fiji faces bleak future: Reeves

PEOPLES COALITION GOVERNMENT, FIJI

Issue No: 63; 25 September 2000

Fiji faces bleak future: Reeves

Fiji faces a bleak future, says Sir Paul Reeves, a former Governor General of New Zealand and the Chairperson of the Constitution Review Commission whose recommendations formed the basis of the 1997 Constitution.

According to an AFP report published in today's Daily Post, Reeves stated that Fiji was going to find the United Nations, the European Union and the Commonwealth simply would not accept plans for an indigenous Fijian-controlled government. He stated: "We are talking about severe economic factors at stake".

The comments by Sir Paul Reeves, ethnically a Maori, completed the criticism by the Constitution Review Commissioners against the interim regime's plans.

Earlier the SVT nominated Commissioner, Mr. Tomasi Vakatora had stated that the 1997 Constitution more than adequately protected indigenous Fijian interests and that there was no need for a new constitution to be written. Professor Brij Lal, the nominee of the Leader of the Opposition had also criticised the regime's plans to write a new constitution, saying that the 1997 Constitution was a product of massive consultation.

So far, the regime has failed to heed the advice of a majority of Fiji citizens that the 1997 Constitution ought to be reinstated and a government composed under the provisions of this Constitution. It has also failed to heed the advice of the international community.

The regime's Finance Minister is currently in Prague (Chech Republic) attending a World Bank and IMF meeting. It is expected that these two major financial institutions would also send a clear message to the regime to urgently get back on the democratic path.

END

25 September 2000.


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