9 Mar 2012

Coalition for Democracy in Fiji welcomes constitution announcement

6:26 pm on 9 March 2012

Nick Naidu of the Auckland based Coalition for Democracy in Fiji has welcomed the interim regime's announcement of a process for consultation over a new constitution.

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

The 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.

But Mr Naidu says he would have liked to see a focus on reining in the military, and accountability and transparency.

"Which has been an issue with this regime, including this whole process of where they've said this is how we're going to do it and this is how you have to do it and the second thing is the question of the military. No use having a constitution and elections and democracy if we still have this huge military force which has entrenched itself throughout civil society and throughout public life, who are going to always be there with the threat of the gun."