20 Feb 2012

CCF says people must lead process of developing new Fiji constitution

4:31 pm on 20 February 2012

Fiji's Citizens' Constitutional Forum says the process of formulating a new constitution must be led by the people of Fiji.

The chief executive, the Reverend Akuila Yabaki, says the people must take ownership and prepare to make a constructive contribution from the drafting through to the final say on the contents of the document.

Sally Round reports.

"Reverend Yabaki says it's a unique opportunity for all Fijians to build a sustainable democracy through a constitution which takes into accounts the dreams and aspirations of all the people of Fiji. The Forum says the Bainimarama government must ensure that people are encouraged to participate and the end result is a document made by the people. It wants the process to begin immediately in order to meet the deadline set for holding democratic elections in September 2014. The Forum also calls for an independent commission to oversee the process. It calls for a guiding code of good governance principles and it also wants civic education in all schools and the lifting of any laws that restrict free and open discussion."