14 Aug 2012

Fiji regime excludes Ali from Constituent Assembly

6:10 pm on 14 August 2012

The Fiji regime leader has decided to exclude a leading women's advocate, Shamima Ali, from the Constituent Assembly to be formed next year.

Commodore Frank Bainimarama has told the website Fijivillage that the assembly will be made up of credible people who think positively about Fiji's future, adding that she is not in the league.

The regime move comes after Fiji's three leading women's organisations said some of the non-negotiable principles in the constitution are matters for the people to decide, not for the state to dictate.

Commodore Bainimarama has dismissed the suggestion, saying the constitution process is not for grandstanding.

Commodore Bainimarama, whose regime wants its immunity for actions in the 2006 coup inscribed in the constitution, has been given the power by decree to choose the Assembly.

The new constitution is expected to be ready for elections promised for 2014.

The regime abolished the 1997 constitution in 2009 after the appeal court ruled that the post-coup interim government was illegal.