9 May 2012

Fiji's constitutional process details announced

6:40 pm on 9 May 2012

The chair of Fiji's constitutional commission, Yash Ghai, has promised Fiji people will have full access to the body which has begun consulting on the new constitution.

The regime abolished the 1997 constitution three years ago when the appeal court ruled that the interim government was illegal.

The Kenyan expert has been in Suva to set up the commission's office.

Sally Round reports from Suva.

"Professor Ghai says the commission will be based in a wing of Suva's parliamentary complex, and helped by some of the existing staff. He says funding is being sought from the UN Development Programme, as well as the interim government. Professor Ghai says the public will have full access to the body's accounts, documents and submissions. He reiterated his own view that it is time for a review of laws which might be restrictive, but says he has been assured by regime leaders of their commitment to the consultation process. Professor Ghai says no obstacle has been put in his path. He says Fiji can learn from other countries' experiences, and his main role is to listen, deliberate and encourage dialogue."