Wednesday, January 16, 2013

UN Chief Demand Legitimacy and Democratic Constitution

Ban presses Fiji leader on constitution

UN chief Ban Ki-moon has demanded that Fiji's military rulers restore "legitimate" government and adopt a democratic constitution.

Ban met with the Pacific country's Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, who seized power in a 2006 coup, on the sidelines of ceremonies to mark Fiji becoming head of the Group of 77 developing states.

Bainimarama has promised to hold elections in 2014 after a new constitution is adopted but this month rejected a draft version prepared by an academic panel and said his government would draw up its own version.

"The secretary general emphasised the need for Fiji to restore legitimate government and constitutional order as soon as possible," said UN spokesman Martin Nesirky. "He reiterated his expectation that the process leading to the adoption of a new constitution in Fiji will be transparent, participatory and democratic, in line with internationally recognised principles," the spokesman added.

Though Bainimarama has rejected a draft version drawn up by a panel led by Kenyan academic Yash Ghai, he has still committed to finishing a new version by September 2014 so elections can be held.

Fiji is taking over the G77 group for one year. The group is now made up of 131 countries, including China, which make up the biggest bloc of developing countries at the UN.

Ban and the illegal Fiji prime minister also discussed sustainable development, UN development goals and a looming summit of small island states.

Explanatory Report                                 Appendages to Draft Fiji Constitution

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