9 Mar 2012

NZ foreign minister welcomes Fiji's consultation moves

6:08 pm on 9 March 2012

The New Zealand foreign minister, Murray McCully, is welcoming an announcement there is to be a consultation process in Fiji on its new constitution.

It will replace the 1997 constitution which the interim regime abolished three years ago when the appeal court ruled that Commodore Frank Bainimarama's post-coup interim government was illegal.

The interim regime this morning announced the process, which will have a five-member Constitutional Commission overseeing it.

Following a public consultation, a draft constitution will be written, which will be debated by a constituent assembly.

Mr McCully says it is a real step in the right direction and an important step toward holding elections in Fiji.

He says the international community will take a close interest in the process and the New Zealand government intends to give it every opportunity to demonstrate its value.

Fiji's new constitution is expected to be adopted next year.