1 Jul 2009

Fiji regime aims for new constitution by 2013

3:29 pm on 1 July 2009

Fiji's interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, says work on a new constitution for Fiji will begin in three years to replace the 1997 constitution which the President Ratu Josefa Iloilo said he had abrogated last April.

Commodore Bainimarama made the announcement in a speech in Suva to outline his regime's roadmap.

He says the next constitution will be ready in 2013 for the elections to be held in 2014.

Commodore Bainimarama says there will be public consultation on the new constitution with political parties, civil society, NGOs and common citizens.

He said the consultations will include discussion on the size of the new parliament, the term of office of government officers, checks and balances.

Commodore Bainimarama called on the international community to assist his government implement the reforms.

"I appeal to the international community that Fiji has and continues to seek engagement and not disengagement. The principles of internationalism and sovereign dignity require dialogue."

Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

This comes two months after Fiji was suspended from the Pacific Islands Forum for reneging on a two-year-old promise to hold elections this year.