FIJI PARTIES DISAGREE OVER CONSTITUTIONAL PROCESSES

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Labour, National Federation differ in consultation protocols

By Farzana Nisha

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, March 27, 2012) – Fiji's Labour Party's (FLP) putting in preconditions does not help the process of cooperation and consensus building says the National Federation Party (NFP).

NFP general secretary Pramod Rae told FijiLive the FLP’s approach is no different from one taken by the government which on the one hand has declared a consultation process but on the other has put in limitations on what can be discussed.

His comment come after FLP leader Mahendra Chaudhry said his party will only work with a party or organization that is willing to question the government’s consultation process whereas the Soqosoqo Duavata Ni Lewenivanua (SDL) leader Laisenia Qarase said they are willing to work with any organization or political parties during the constitution consultation process

Rae said the NFP has always promoted politics of consensus and cooperation.

"At this stage we have not received any proposals from either the FLP or SDL. When we do, we will be happy to explore them further," he said.

Any proposals received from these parties will be discussed at the NFP’s working committee meeting in Suva on April 15.

He said the meeting will also discuss socioeconomic issues as well as the proposed constitution consultation process and decide whether the party will participate and in what way.

[PIR editor’s note: Chaudhry has also spoken against the governments "civic education sessions" over the new constitution as "indoctrination." "People from the civil service probably also with intelligence personnel have been visiting some settlements and villages... and the information that is dished out is not actually correct," Chaudhry says.]

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