12 Mar 2013

Former Fiji opposition leader says no excuse for holding up release of draft constitution

12:10 pm on 12 March 2013

The opposition leader in Fiji's last parliament says the government has no excuse for not releasing the draft constitution or holding up invitations for the Constituent Assembly.

The Prime Minister says the new draft constitution has been ready for a couple of weeks but the government is waiting for the Constituent Assembly to put it together.

Commodore Frank Bainimarama says the Assembly, which was due to sit more than two months ago, will only be appointed when all the issues in relation to the registration of proposed parties are completed.

A former opposition leader Mick Beddoes says the government is making excuses for not releasing the draft constitution but he is not surprised.

"If they've had the constitution for two weeks, why hasn't there been an announcement? Regardless of whether the fact one wants to wait until the political parties issue has been sorted. But there's nothing to stop them issuing invitations to people for the constituent assembly. The political parties only form up one part of the representation that is required in it. So there is no reason for there to be a hold up."

Mick Beddoes says he doubts the three proposed political parties that have applied to be re-registered will succeed in doing so.