24 Dec 2008

Fiji academic slams quality of figures made public on approval of charter

2:55 pm on 24 December 2008

A Fiji academic calls the approval process for the Peoples Charter for Change and Progress a big charade.

The charter is interim Government's device to try and move the country toward electoral change.

During a public campaign, charter officials, the military and police gathered support for the charter.

They claimed that 92 percent of those involved approved of it.

But University of the South Pacific economics professor, Wadan Narsey, says the figures are flawed and the assumptions wrong.

Professor Narsey says the charter approval process was neither fair nor independent.

"They sent out all these charter education teams around the country, supposedly explaining to our hundreds of thousands of uneducated people what's in the charter and then they asked the people to put down their names and to write on forms whether they approve the charter or not. So this so-called 92 percent approval that the interim government has been trumpeting about is rubbish."

Wadan Narsey says no-one knows what the people's real opinions are and the process will never be accepted by the international community.