Saturday, August 24, 2013


[No 14/2013]
[Friday August 23, 2013]

Political Parties reject regime’s purported constitution

The purported constitution released by the regime has no legitimacy or legal authority and should receive no recognition, says the UFDF.

UFDF leaders, likewise, call on the international community to give the document no recognition, as it does not have the approval of the people of Fiji. They had no input in its preparation and it is an insult to the people that the purported constitution should in its preamble make the claim: “We, the people of Fiji….. Hereby establish this constitution for the Republic of Fiji”.

This purported constitution is being unilaterally imposed on our people. It is tailored to perpetuate the illegal and dictatorial rule of the Bainimarama/Khaiyum consortium and to protect them from the law for their treasonous activities.

But UFDF leaders warn the duo that the immunity provisions they have so excruciatingly “entrenched” into the constitution, are not worth the paper they are written on. Parliament, as the supreme institution of the land, is not bound by any unlawful restrictions on its authority.

The regime’s purported constitution ignores completely the doctrine of separation of powers between the executive, the legislature and the judiciary, so essential for the preservation of the rule of law. The Attorney General continues to exercise undue authority over the appointment of judges, senior Court officials and members of the Judicial Services Commission. The independence, jurisdiction and authority of the Judiciary remains compromised and undermined by the Executive.

There is no guarantee to the human rights provisions so laboriously written into the regime’s document because much of it – freedom of assembly, association and expression and the right to personal liberty are negated by the draconian decrees that violate universally recognized individual rights and the rights of workers and their trade unions. These decrees are to continue in force.

The proposed nation-wide single constituency is specifically designed to rig the ballot and produce a predetermined electoral outcome. Voter registration rolls have not been published so far for public information/scrutiny and are unlikely to be published in the future, giving the regime full opportunity to manipulate the electoral process to suit its own ends.

Khaiyum lies again when he says the release of the purported constitution follows a community consultation process. There was no public consultation. It is public knowledge that this despicable document was written in the inner sanctum of his office in absolute secrecy.

Comments were invited via email, text messages on mobile phones or in writing when the regime’s first draft was released last March. Such communication was never made public. UFDF believes a vast majority of those who responded rejected the regime’s document, expressing preference for the Ghai draft constitution and calls on the regime to publish all of the submissions they claim to have received.

There was no public forum where the regime invited discussion or debate. The so-called community consultation sessions were by way of boring lectures by Khaiyum largely to an audience who attended on their directive – civil servants, military personnel and sycophants of the regime. This can hardly be described as a consultation process.

UFDF challenges the regime to put their constitution to a referendum if they are so sure of its acceptance by the people.

Finally, UFDF warns the Bainimarama/Khaiyum consortium that all dictatorships and repressive regimes eventually come to an end and so will theirs – they should be prepared to face the full brunt of the law when that happens.

Authorized by : UFDF

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