22 Dec 2012

Fiji attorney-general says public will get its say on draft constitution

5:32 am on 22 December 2012

The interim Attorney-General of Fiji Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the public will get a chance to debate the draft constitution when it goes to the Constituent Assembly.

Fiji's Constitution Commission Chairman Professor Yash Ghai handed over the document to the President at government house today.

Professor Ghai says it includes a Bill of Rights which will restore many of the rights which have been taken away from the people over the years.

He says the Commission was disappointed when the interim government scrapped the plan for public debate on the draft last month.

But Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says that will happen through the Constituent Assembly.

"There'll be a public gallery, the public can obviously go and listen to the debates, the media is obviously given free access to the Constituent Assembly debates. It's hoped that the members who will be appointed to the Constituent Assembly will represent an array of people from Fiji."

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the interim government has invited expressions of interest from people or organisations that would like to be on the Assembly, and appointments will be made in the new year.