9 Jan 2013

Beddoes questions Fiji decree amendment

3:24 pm on 9 January 2013

Fiji's ousted opposition leader says the people of Fiji should ask the regime why it amended a decree in late October aimed at removing the people's right to see and comment on the draft constitution.

The draft was finalised last year and published by the Constitution Commission's chairman via the internet on New Year's Day after Fiji police seized all printed copies of the document.

Mick Beddoes says the outcry over its release is being used by the regime as part of its strategy to discredit the chairman, Yash Ghai, so that requirements for the regime to become accountable can be removed.

Mr Beddoes says the decree amendment came after public submissions closed, adding that it appears that the regime learnt through a mole at the Commission that the draft was shaping up to be quite tough in terms of accountability.

He says had the regime remained honest and adhered to the original decree, no time would be wasted on discussing the draft's leak but instead allowed for the draft's content to be discussed.