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September 14, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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Prominent citizens, business leaders, professionals and academics are reluctant to appear before the Constitution Commission to present their views because of fear of retaliation by Government, Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry told the Commission.

Chaudhry while making his submission to the Commission said, “The Government is using intimidatory tactics to stifle dissent.”

He added that this was evident from the running commentaries of the Prime Minister in the media crossing swords with submitters who have questioned the credibility of the process.

“Particularly those relating to the immunity provisions, the powers vested in the Prime Minister with regard to the appointment of the Constituent Assembly, the non-negotiable and etcetera,” Chaudhry said.

Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama on the other hand has always maintained that he and members of his Government will not interfere with the work of the Commission which is independent and has been set up to listen to the people and keep their submissions in mind while drawing up the country's new Constitution.

By Indrani Krishna

Kapoor & Sons

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