Fiji’s constitutional and electoral process should be kept independent of the government which has a vested interest in its outcome, says the Fiji Labour Party.
Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry said they have always maintained that the processes should be independent but constant interference with the work of the Commission and the promulgation of decrees which distort the process and diminish the mandate of the Commission, has vindicated their stand.
“If the constitution making process is to have credibility and integrity, the
Commission must be allowed to complete its assignment without any interference, threat or harassment,” he said.
“Ample time must also be allowed to the people of Fiji to study the draft constitution and to voice their opinion on it.”
“It is crucial that the constitution is accepted by the people otherwise it will have no recognition in the international community.”
“The Prime Minister is correct when he says the constitution must reflect the will of the people. However, this will not happen if there is interference in the work of the Commission,” he added.
Commission chair, Professor Yash Ghai told international media earlier this week that there has been massive interference in their work by the government.
However, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said Prof Ghai’s claim that he has been harassing him is totally without foundation.
Bainimarama also said that it was up to Prof Ghai if he wanted to continue in the role as the chairperson of the Commission.
The Prime Minister also stated that no one person was more important then the task of producing a Constitution for the Fijian people and their future generations.
By Reginald Chandar