CCF Responds to Consultation Announcement Date

The Constitution Consultation Start Date announcement by Voreqe Bainimarama is a welcome one especially if it is to be a truly participatory and inclusive process.
The removal of ethnic-based voting and the reduction of the voting age to 18 coincides with CCF’s submission to the Reeves Commission in 1996 and notes that these changes are a step in the right direction for Fiji.
CCF CEO Reverend Akuila Yabaki recommends that all citizens must come to the table and present their views on what they feel should be included and these include those such as:
1.the types of government,
2.the issue of a form of Bill of Rights,
3.our definition on social justice issues and Affirmative Action,
4.Positions of executive authority,
5.the constitution roles of the judiciary,
6.State Services,
7.Codes of conduct that ensure Accountability such as a robust and relevant code of conduct and the offices that ensure these including the Office of the Ombudsman and the Human Rights Commission, Auditor general and other freedoms of information.
He adds that “equally importantly, decisions have to be made on the issue of role of the military and the Great Councils of Chiefs.
“The protection of the ownership of resources such as the land, the environment, flora and fauna may need to be enshrined in the new document.
Reverend Yabaki stated that, “Everyone must discuss these and have clarity on their positions on these issues and more when the consultation starts, so that we can develop a constitution that has national ownership.”
“Individuals who hold on the 1997 Constitution may also need to be heard and their arguments included in the processes so that we can make the process truly inclusive.
CCF also wishes to state that the Ministry of Information Media Release that mentions CCF holding educational meetings throughout the nation in January and February is incorrect as it plans to begin workshops in Ra and Ba on the topics of Good Governance, Human Rights and Citizenship starting in March. To date this year alone CCF has only undertaken workshops in Naitasiri and Tailevu. Plans for Ba were deferred due to flooding

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