23 Aug 2013

Fiji citizen group says new constitution is not representative

6:53 am on 23 August 2013

A Fiji group, the Citizens Constitutional Forum, says there has been little integrity in the process to finalise the new constitution which was released yesterday.

The government has made changes to its draft released in March, such as adding seats in the unicameral Parliament to make 50, and abolishing the regional constituencies.

The control of the military has also moved to under the office of the President rather than the Prime Minister.

But the CEO of the Citizens Constitutional Forum, the Reverend Akuila Yabaki, says the military should come under the control of the defence department because otherwise it sees itself as above the law.

He says it isn't a people's constitution.

"This document cannot be considered a constitution by the people of Fiji following the discarding of the people's draft constitution in January. The constitution is a government constitution, it came out of the work of a government legal team and we recognise it as the government's."

The Reverend Yabaki says there has been little integrity in the process of finalising the country's supreme law.