26 Mar 2013

Fiji's PM defends removal of provisions for women in draft constitution

6:59 am on 26 March 2013

Fiji's Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama has defended the removal of many of the separate provisions for women in his government's draft constitution.

Many provisions including the requirement that a certain number of women be on political parties' lists of candidates, have been removed from that proposed in the draft drawn up by Professor Yash Ghai and the Constitutional Commission.

Mr Bainimarama told Fiji Live the Constitution should promote equality in all forms, not encourage division of any sort.

He says the new Draft Constitution had not included the so-called entrenched provisions because no law should be above parliament.

He also says parliament represents the voice of the people.

But he says this does not mean that property or land ownership will not be protected.

Mr Bainimarama also adds the new laws are practical, but still guarantees the protection of the rights of the iTaukei not to have their land alienated.

He says all these laws have been introduced without the so-called entrenched provisions of the past.