29 Oct 2004

Former Fiji prime minister rejects criticism of 1997 Constitution

10:39 am on 29 October 2004

The former Fiji prime minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, has sharply attacked senators who have been criticising the 1997 Constitution in the Upper House, saying they should stop misleading the people of the country.

Mr Rabuka is widely acknowledged as one of the architects of the 1997 Constitution.

He has told Radio Legend that the senators do now know what is provided under the constitution and their comments are a big lie.

Mr Rabuka says the senators are trying to hoodwink the masses, but unfortunately for the senators, the masses are better educated than they are.

Mr Rabuka says the senators should reconsider what they are saying in the house.

On a Great Council of chiefs senator belittling the new Labour Party senator Dr Ratu Epeli Nailaitkau as a minor chief, Mr Rabuka said there are no chiefs in the senate and no chiefs in parliament.

Mr Rabuka says if they want to maintain their chiefly dignity, they should come out of that house.

Mr Rabuka's comments follow rampant criticism of the 1997 Constitution by Great Council of Chiefs and government senators, at least some of whom voted for it in 1997.