JOINT MEDIA STATEMENT
28 March 2013
Regime’s Draft ConstitutionThe United Front for a Democratic Fiji (UFDF) rejects the Fiji regime’s new draft constitution and the restricted and limited process for people’s input.
This draft cannot be pushed as the people’s document simply because it isn’t so.
As expected, the constitution seeks to perpetuate a dictatorship by entrenching the many restrictions and prohibitions imposed on the people since the 2006 coup.
These include the restrictions on group rights such as trade unions and continued limitations on the judiciary.
The limited time offered to people to obtain a copy, read it and respond on its various draconian provisions confirms the regime’s intention to simply force its will on the people.
UFDF is particularly concerned with:
The extensive restrictions in the proposed Bill of Rights which imposes more prohibitions than rights;
- Absence of land and tenancy rights;
- Absence of recognition of women and minority communities;
- Continued restrictions on an independent judiciary;
- Entrenchment of prohibitive decrees;
- Absence of any caretaker government prior to elections;
- Blanket immunities including for acts not yet committed;
The constitution as drafted is simply inconsistent with the concept of a free and democratic society.
UFDF will be holding public meetings to provide a forum for citizens to engage in open discussions on the draft constitution and its shortcomings.
The first of these meetings will be held as follows:
Wednesday 3 April 2013 from 5pm at FTA Hall, Knollys St Suva
Friday 5 April 2013 from 5pm at TokaToka Resort Nadi
Further meetings will be advised in due course.
|Ratu Jone Kubuabola|
|Mahendra P. Chaudhry|