Fijian gov't urged to fast track preparation of new constitution before election in 2014

15:06, June 02, 2011      

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Fiji's National Peoples Charter Advisory Council (NPCAC) on Thursday urged the government to fast track preparation of new constitution before election in 2014, while being satisfied with the work progress to embrace the 11 Pillars of the Peoples Charter for Change, Peace and Progress.

NPCAC Chairman Josefa Serulagilagi made the call following the presentation of the council's report for 2009 and 2010 to the Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.

Serulagilagi said while the council was convinced reforms emanating from the implementation of the charter, which are all mainstreamed into the Roadmap for Sustainable Economic Development and Democracy 2009-2014, are on target, it had impressed upon government the need to fast track preparing a new constitution.

This means the need for the establishment of a constitution commission and the appointment of its members with a terms of reference, Serulagilagi said, expressing they are committed to ensuring that all processes are implemented in a timely and coordinated manner for Fiji to go to have elections in 2014.

"So it is important not only for the council, but whole of Fiji and the international community to get behind the 2014 timeline and make it happen," he said.

Serulagilagi said the council has encouraged the government to fast-track the preparation of a new constitution, which will require time, resources and wide ranging consultations, for Fiji to be well on schedule for democratic elections in 2014.

Some world countries and locals are pressuring Fiji towards an election sooner as some doubt there would be one come 2014 after outbursts from a disgruntled former military officer Roko Ului Mara recently who escaped to Tonga had claimed that the Bainimarama regime were not serious about having elections in 2014.

However, Prime Minister Bainimarama said earlier he was fed up of answering the same question regarding the election by the Fiji media and assured people that it would happen despite the claims.

Source: Xinhua
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