12 Aug 2008

Fiji People Charter's advocates invite foreign monitoring

3:33 pm on 12 August 2008

A spokesman for the team gathering feedback on the draft for Fiji's People's Charter says they would welcome independent monitors to ensure the process is fair.

The head of the technical support secretariat, John Samy, says a referendum won't be held as Fiji does not have experience of holding such votes, nor the time or money.

Teams from the National Council for Building a Better Fiji are distributing the draft charter and hope that a copy will get to every household.

Mr Samy says they plan to draw up a questionnaire that will be signed and will ask if the individual supports the Charter.

He says the results will be taken seriously:

"If individuals who complete this questionnaire do so in an unfettered way of their own free will, we will have to take that very seriously otherwise what is the purpose of doing that. If it was not worth doing that why would we bother?"

Mr Samy says they are worried that people may come under undue pressure and would welcome help with monitoring from nations such as New Zealand.

At the same time, it's reported the Fiji military is preparing to help with public consultations over the draft Charter.