Fiji Commission Urges Authorities To Respect Constitution

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‘Society should believe in the rule of law,’ says professor

By Maciu Malo

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Sept. 11, 2012) – Constitution Commission member Professor Satendra Nandan believes the solution to safeguarding against the abrogation of the proposed new constitution would be for those in power to abide by the document.

"The only guarantee is if the people feel this is their constitution and the second is those coming into power follow the constitution in a way that is fair to all the citizens," he said.

"The final guarantee is the major institution of our government, the military and the many other social and intellectual institutions protect the constitution as best as they can."

Prof. Nandan said people must believe in the new constitution and those in power must not abuse the document.

"That is why we are very concerned with listening to the people first, not only physically listening, but listening with the heart and mind and to see what are the anxieties in people's hearts, what are their fears, what hope must they care for freedom and do they care for democratic rights?

"Democracy is not an easy thing, it requires sacrifices, compromises, accommodation, understanding of each other, sharing of resources, sharing of whatever we have, so you get a fair society."

Prof. Nandan said for the new constitution not to be abrogated, society should believe in the rule of law.

"You get an independent judiciary, corruption is removed, the government does not or people in power do not abuse power but empower the people.

"There are leaders whose presence empower, there are leaders who can trample on your rights but there are leaders who present you a part of the great enterprise called nation-building."

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