Fiji Draft Constitution Released, Constituent Assembly Dropped

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PM Bainimarama say public to deliberate the final document

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, March 21, 2013) – Fiji’s draft constitution has been released but there will be no Constituent Assembly to discuss and pass the document as initially planned.

Instead, members of the public will deliberate and decide on the final constitution.

In a letter addressed to the nation, Fiji’s Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama said the decision to do away with the Constituent Assembly stems from the "lack of commitment by the political parties to register under the requirements of the law."

"There are allegations of fraud and impersonation. This does not provide a conducive climate to hold the Constituent Assembly. We cannot be delayed by such circumstances," Bainimarama said.

"Racism and corruption cannot form the basis of a new beginning for our beloved country."

He said the decision will also ensure the country keeps to the timeline set to ensure elections are held by September 2014.

The draft constitution is ready and is available to the general public via the media and government websites.

Members of the public are advised that they have till 5 April for their thoughts and recommendations on the draft constitution.

"In assessing the draft, please understand that it has been put together by incorporating the positive aspects of the Ghai draft, and with the view to withstand the test of time. Constitutional, political and economic stability is critical to create a prosperous Fiji," he added.

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