Saturday, July 19, 2008

Amendment to Constitution outside parliament is illegal: Fa

Amendment to Constitution outside parliament is illegal: Fa

Any amendment to the constitution outside the Parliamentary process is illegal.
Fiji Law Society president Isireli Fa said the way for Fiji out of this conundrum was clearly to hold elections under the 1997 constitution. Mr Fa said to achieve this, dialogue amongst stakeholders must take place to reach an agreement.

He said the agreement to be reached is that constitutional office holders properly appointed under the 1997 constitution required for the purposes of convening an election be reinstated to their posts to conduct the election scheduled for March 2009. “Agreement should also be reached that the leaders of the major political parties who were members of the last parliament or who were in government or who are now part of the interim government be requested and agree to not contest the elections scheduled for March 2009,” said Mr Fa.

“But instead to put forward new leaders who are not tainted by the coup of 2006 or tainted by the allegations of corruption that have been put forward by the interim government/military.

“The widespread corruption alleged by the interim government and the military being investigated by FICAC should be put forward in a Commission of Inquiry Act which will regularise investigations currently underway and ensure that they are properly investigated within the law.

“The leaders of all political parties agree that the new Parliament to be elected after the scheduled elections of March 2009 would take the appropriate steps to progress and address the issue of electoral reform within the provision of the constitution.”

Mr Fa said a consultative process should be set under the supervision of an independent body such as the Forum Secretariat, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the UN or the European Union to review the future role of the Fiji Military Forces. He said this would ensure that no future elected governments were threatened by the existence of the army.

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