NEW FIJI CONSTITUTION GOOD EXAMPLE TO OTHERS: NZ

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (July 15, 1997 - PACNEWS)---New Zealand's Foreign Minister Don McKinnon says Fiji’s adoption of a new constitution without bloodshed is an excellent example of accomplishment to divided societies everywhere.

He said the new constitution meets all internationally recognized norms and conventions of political, civil, and human rights.

The Fiji Senate, following the action of the Fiji House, last week accepted the new constitution, which replaces the 1990 racially-weighted document. The 1990 constitution gave indigenous Fijians strong control over the country’s Indian population, among other things barring them from holding government cabinet positions.

McKinnon said the adoption of the new constitution is being welcomed throughout the Pacific and throughout the world.

Meantime, Fiji President Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara will most likely give his assent to the new constitution on Friday, July 25. The date is significant because it will be exactly seven years to the day since the former President, the late Ratu Penaia Ganilau, endorsed the 1990 constitution.

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