3 Mar 2008

Fiji's People's Charter called a futile exercise

11:35 am on 3 March 2008

An academic who help draw up Fiji's last Constitution has said that the proposed People's Charter is a futile exercise.

Brij Lal, who is at the Australian National University, says the charter has not been able to attract broad-based support.

He said those opposed to the charter were those who have been at the receiving end of the December 2006 coup.

Dr Lal told the Fiji Times that without their support and participation, the project will come to naught.

He said the Charter's intention seems to be prescriptive, laying down the overarching parameters and framework of governance for the country when it should be the business of the ordinary citizens conducted through a democratic election.

Dr Lal said the Charter's initiative was trying to re-invent the wheel.

He said chapter two of the Constitution already laid down the broad principles and values which should underpin the governance of the country, the basis on which State resources ought to be allocated.