5 Nov 2012

Key Fiji NGO supports Ratu Joni in spat with interim regime over consultations

5:46 pm on 5 November 2012

The head of a civil society group involved with Fiji's constitution consultations says it is unavoidable that Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi has found himself in a dual role over consultations on the new constitution.

The deposed vice president is at the centre of the latest row between the Constitution Commission and regime leader Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

The interim Prime Minister has scolded the commission for employing Ratu Joni as a consultant when he had also made a submission as a high chief calling for a Christian state, breaching one of the regime's decrees.

Reverend Akuila Yabaki of the Citizen's Constitutional Forum says the regime has targeted Ratu Joni who is a highly trained lawyer as well as a high chief.

"It should be understandable that he should contend with such a dual personality and having to manage such a contradiction in the current situation which is still divided. I think from civil society's perspective we would like to support Ratu Joni in the work that he is trying to do."

Reverend Akuila Yabaki of Fiji's Citizen's Constitutional Forum.