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Vows to build country’s economy in meanwhile

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, July 21, 2009) – Fiji will have a modern day constitution before elections in 2014, says Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.

Bainimarama said this will be the focus of his Government after it strives to build the country’s economy and infrastructure within the next three years.

"For the first three years beginning now, my Government shall focus on improving the socio-economic and infrastructure conditions throughout the country," he said while addressing delegates at the 35th Annual Gathering and 8th Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) General Conference in Nadi yesterday.

He said this will include encouraging Fiji’s private sector and the media to partner with his Government in initiatives that will be pro-growth and pro-poor.

Last month, Bainimarama delivered his roadmap to democracy, which includes work on a new constitution to begin in September 2012

He said the new constitution must include provisions that "will entrench common and equal citizenry, it must not have ethnic based voting; the voting age shall be 18; and it must have systems that hold elected governments accountable with more checks and balances".

He said that public consultations on the new document will include discussion on the "size of the new Parliament, the appropriateness of a bi-cameral system, the term of office of a government and systems of checks and balances".

Bainimarama has assured that he will return the country to democratic rule by September 2014, 8 years after he overthrew the Qarase-led Government in a bloodless coup.


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