21 Dec 2012

Fiji draft constitution deters coup culture, says CC chair

5:05 pm on 21 December 2012

The head of the Fiji Constitution Commission says the new draft constitution, which has just been handed over to the interim government, instills a culture which respects the rule of law.

Professor Yash Ghai handed over the draft constitution to the President Ratu Epeli Nailataikau at Government House today.

He says for the first time, there is a whole chapter dedicated to the framework of national security in Fiji, which sets out the boundaries within which the military should work.

And he says as far as the state is concerned they have tried to make it very democratic, and responsive to the people.

"We have tried to inculcate a culture of rule of law so that not only will the government be efficient and its actions predictable, but also the people to imbibe that culture and act against those who wish to do another coup."

Yash Ghai says they have recommended the establishment of a second layer of government, at the local government level, which won't be based on ethnic affiliations, and will have significant powers of law-making.