9 Mar 2012

Fiji's Labour leader welcomes constitution announcement

6:16 pm on 9 March 2012

The Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, says the announcement of the constitutional consultation process appears to be a way for the interim regime to extend its rule for another two and half years.

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.

Mr Chaudhry says the only element that he thinks needs revising concerns the electoral provisions.

"And what we need to do really is to review the electoral provision and look at any other changes that are essential to the '97 constitution, and fast track the process of having a new constitution. Otherwise it will drag this process and the regime will be there until 2014."