18 Jan 2013

Fiji women's group disheartened by Carr stance

2:05 pm on 18 January 2013

The Fiji Women's Rights Movement says it is disappointed with the comments made by the Australian foreign minister about the rejection of Fiji's draft constitution.

Last week, the regime in Suva dumped the draft, which it had commissioned last year, and Bob Carr said he found it understandable that the Fiji interim government objected to the proposed revival of unelected bodies, such as the Great Council of Chiefs.

The Fiji Women's Rights Movement says Mr Carr's comments are disheartening because what he is telling Fijians is that he condones the oppressive action of an unelected few.

By doing so, it says, he fails to support the views of 7,000 men and women who made submissions to the Constitution Commission.

A new draft is being readied by the regime which will give it to a Constituent Assembly of its choice next month.

The women's group says it wants the regime to publicise the names of the 300 people interested in becoming Assembly members.

It says the process, from application to selection, must be transparent so that chosen representatives are accountable to all people of Fiji.