3 Apr 2013

Fiji draft constitution concentrates power to "dangerous" level says NGO

2:44 pm on 3 April 2013

A civil society group in Fiji, the Citizen's Constitutional Forum, says the regime's draft constitution concentrates power dangerously in the offices of Prime Minister and Attorney General.

The criticisms come in the forum's report which analyses the draft and compares it with the dumped draft of the Constitution Commission and the abrogated 1997 constitution.

The CCF's head, Reverend Akuila Yabaki, says the power that the latest draft vests in the Prime Minister and Attorney-General is unprecedented in most modern democratic constitutions.

"The draft is reflecting what actually is taking place at the moment unfortunately and not what should be taking place in future. they control nearly all appointments to the judiciary and independent commisions."

Reverend Akuila Yabaki says the draft would also give the Prime Minister control of remuneration and removal of those sitting on various commissions and supposedly independent offices.

The group says some crucial institutions like the ombudsman have been removed entirely.