14 Mar 2012

Fiji unions want civilian government to oversee next polls

7:18 pm on 14 March 2012

The Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions says the next election should be conducted by an interim civilian government under the 1997 constitution.

Its general secretary, Attar Singh, says Fiji never had a better constitution than the 1997 Constitution, which provided a bill of rights that was envied by everyone as it guaranteed universal freedom for all.

Mr Singh has told Fijilive that the 1997 constitution was acceptable even to the 2006 coupmakers and this was an indication that a lot of people throughout Fiji support the constitution.

Mr Singh says a matter of national and international significance such as writing up a new constitution should have been the subject of key consultation with stakeholders such as trade unions, political parties and Non-Governmental Organisations.

His comments come after last week's regime announcement of a consultation timetable for a new constitution in time for elections promised for 2014.