Monday, July 21, 2008

‘Unconstitutional crisis’

‘Unconstitutional crisis’

7/20/2008



A government elected under an electoral system, which has not been endorsed by Parliament, would be deemed unconstitutional.
Suva lawyer and former supervisor of Elections Semesa Karavaki said his successor had a duty to inform the interim government of this very important legal issue. Supervisor of Elections Felicity Heffernan is due to take up her post later this week and Mr Karavaki said she had to ensure that election preparations were made under the 1997 Constitution requirements. "The role is an independent one and the supervisor of elections is expected to prepare for elections under the current constitution," said Mr Karavaki. "The Supervisor of Elections can only take Fiji forward under the existing constitution and should inform the state of that." He said the implementation of election reforms was not important in the preparation for the election. "Reforms can't be legitimate if not approved by parliament," he said.

The National Council for Building a Better Fiji proposed electoral reforms at their last session.

Working groups were sent out for consultation processes with members of the public.

Fiji Labour Party general secretary Mahendra Chaudhry said reforms to the electoral system were imperative to ensure free, fair and credible elections.

Party president Jokapeci Koroi said there was no rush to hold elections and electoral reforms should be implemented before this could happen.

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