30 Jul 2003

Fiji government reported to be considering constitutional changes

10:47 am on 30 July 2003

The Fiji government is reported to be considering major changes to the 1997 Constitution.

The Daily Post quotes the information minister, Simione Kaitani, as saying with the Fiji Labour Party now almost part of of a multi-party cabinet, no time would be wasted in making changes to the constitution.

Mr Kaitani says details are confidential to the cabinet but the changes would get around the current land lease legislation, ALTA, and the muti-party cabinet provisions of the constitution.

Both of these are entrenched legislation and cannot be altered without Labour party support.

The disclosure is in line with a statement made by President Iloilo during the opening of parliament on monday that government would pursue substantive amendments to the constitution.

But the National Federation Party has condemned attempts to change the constitution, saying it has not been proven to be dysfunctional.

NFP leader, Prem Singh, says the 1997 Constitution was a product of wide-ranging consultations and consesus and any tinkering by politicians would raise serious doubts about their intentions.