17 Oct 2012

Coup prevention key message in Fiji constitution consultation

4:06 pm on 17 October 2012

The chairperson of Fiji's Constitution Commission says submissions to the constitution-making body show overwhelming consensus that everything must be done to prevent coups in future.

He says people from all over Fiji have expressed their great disgust at coups.

Professor Yash Ghai says it will be a difficult task, reconciling what the people want with a decree which embeds immunity in the new constitution.

He says commissioners will have to follow the decree but could make comments on its wisdom.

"The constitution will have to give immunity. But there are many ways, I guess, of providing immunities for different acts for different parties for different periods of time and we will keep in mind the general feeling in the country that immunity should be as restrictive as possible so that we move on to a culture where coups will never be tolerated again."

Professor Ghai says the commission started reviewing today the more than 3,000 submissions it has received.