Saturday, September 15, 2012

CONSTITUTION COMMISSION MUST SAFEGUARD ITS INTEGRITY - SDL Party

PRESS RELEASE 11.9.12

SDL – CONSTITUTION COMMISSION MUST SAFEGUARD ITS INTEGRITY


“unless you have full free and complete consultation and unless those views are correctly reflected in the outcome, then sooner or later, all will come undone”.


On Tuesday 4th September 2012, the Fiji Times reported Professor Satendra Nandan of the Constitution Commission as saying that the fact Fiji has abrogated 3 of its Constitution since 1970 speaks volume of the ignorance and lack of understanding Fijians have towards the document.

The SDL says Professor Nandan is absolutely correct but the commission also has its important role to play. Whether its work is a success will only be known after the outcome, and long after the commission has gone.

The public and the international community welcome this exercise, unnecessary as it may be, for one reason and one reason only. It is the means, as opposed to the many others that are available, that the Military government has accepted to facilitate its return to the barracks and return this country to democratic rule. We are all bowing to that because how else can we hope to return this country to democracy.

It is for that reason exactly that the Constitution Commission bears a very heavy burden indeed. It must ensure that it is not used by the interim government to impose its will on the population. There are simply too many examples in history of similar situation where Military Leaders and Dictators use such commission as pawns to continue to maintain power in one shape or another. The commission must therefore make sure that its outcome correctly reflects the will of the people of Fiji. For otherwise the very integrity of the commission will be questioned for many years to come. Its integrity will be protected only by ensuring that there is full and proper consultation with a certainty that the outcome correctly reflects the full, free, and complete view of what the people of this country hold dear.

The commission might want to take heed of the comment of a member of the Committee for the Elimination of The Racial Discrimination (CERD) at its 81st session in Geneva earlier this year. Commenting on the report to it by Fiji on the progress of the constitutional process, amidst the excitement of others in that committee that the return to democracy is imminent, one member commented and cautioned Fiji that – 

“unless you have full free and complete consultation and unless those views are correctly reflected in the outcome, then sooner or later, all will come undone”.



SOLOMONE  NAIVALU
PARTY  PRESIDENT
SDL

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