Friday, December 21, 2012

Ban on Political Meetings Back Now that Draft Constitution Produced


Likewise, the suspension of the ban on political meetings imposed under the PER, will be lifted now that the draft constitution is handed over to the President. Special Police permits will now have to be obtained to hold public meetings to discuss the draft constitution.

It looks like the Bainimarama Dictatorship may not be all too happy with the Draft Constitution! Is it because it has ignored most of the Military's dumb and self serving submission? And that it has not included Immunity for the treasonous dictator and his military thugs and supporters like Khaiyum!

Thumbs up to Yash Ghai, the chair of the Consitutional Commission that handed the draft document to the President, who said the military should be subject to parliamentary oversight and focus on national defence.

"We think the professional military, their conscience should be to defend Fiji against external aggression and we would rather the police handle internal disorder issues," he told Radio New Zealand. "We feel that the military must be responsible to the government and to parliament and they have to act within the confines of the constitution."

Such a responsible and direct statement must have really pissed off Bainimarama. Otherwise, his illegal regime would not be as hasty to start clamping down again on the freedom of citizens following its relaxation of emergency rules during the period of developing submissions on the draft constitution. A ban on a planned meeting tommorow with stakeholders for a briefing on the draft constitution has been cancelled following orders by the illegal regime. The story is referred to in the Fiji Labour Party's condemnation of the secrecy surrounding the discussion on the draft document. It is reproduced below.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FLP slams secrecy surrounding draft constitution Commission not allowed to meet stakeholders –

The Constitution Commission has cancelled a meeting it had scheduled to brief political parties and NGOs on the draft constitution presumably under pressure from the regime.
Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry expressed disappointment, adding “I am surprised that the Commission has succumbed to this kind of intimidation from the regime”.
Dictator Bainimarama not happy with Draft Constitution?

The meeting was scheduled to take place at 9am on Saturday, 22 December at the Parliamentary complex. It was earlier planned for Monday 18 December but had to be deferred because of Cyclone Evan.

In an email informing stakeholders of the cancelled meeting at 7pm on Thursday, December 20 Commission’s Executive Secretary Keshwa Reddy simply said:

“Due to certain factors, which is beyond the control of the Commission, we regret to inform that the above meeting is now permanently called off. On behalf of the Chairperson, Commissioners and staff we sincerely apologise for this notice and any inconvenience caused as a result.”

Mr Chaudhry said this was to be expected: “They didn’t want to give the people of Fiji a chance to comment on the draft constitution. They wanted to shut everyone out.”

The completed draft was handed over to the President today by the Constitution Commission. An earlier requirement that the draft be released to the public for comments before it was handed over to the President, was removed by Decree 64 which was promulgated on 31st October 2012.

The next step in the process will be for the Constituent Assembly to debate the draft constitution and make amendments where necessary. The Assembly is to be hand-picked by the Prime Minister. Two weeks ago the regime put out advertisements asking for expressions of interest from persons wishing to serve on the Assembly.
Chaudhry slams secrecy over draft Constitution

Mr Chaudhry branded the call for expressions of interest as “utterly ridiculous. Don’t they know who the representatives of the people are?” FLP’s major concern is that the people of Fiji and their mandated leaders are being deliberately shut out of the process. It is clear by now that the regime is determined to have its own way. 

Debate at the Assembly stage is likely to be carefully orchestrated. Under Decree 58 members are bound by the decisions of the Assembly. The Decree prohibits them from expressing “dissent, publicly or privately other than in a meeting of the Assembly”. In effect, this stops any public discussion on the provisions of the draft constitution outside the Assembly. Likewise, the suspension of the ban on political meetings imposed under the PER, will be lifted now that the draft constitution is handed over to the President.

Special Police permits will now have to be obtained to hold public meetings to discuss the draft constitution.

“The whole thing is being done in secrecy. Unless the process is opened up for discussion, it will have no credibility,” said Mr Chaudhry.

He re-iterated FLP’s call that the constitution be put to a national referendum.


Click Links to Find Out!
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Start Your MAX Business / Smart Forex Trading / Be a MAX Associate / Try Stock Market Trade / Binary Options Trading / Fijian Customs & Culture EBook 

No comments: