3 Apr 2013

Independence is the key to constitution submission process, says Fiji NGO

8:35 pm on 3 April 2013

The head of a Fiji civil society group, Reverend Akuila Yabaki, says it's no use extending a deadline for views on the draft constitution if the whole process is not independent.

The Fiji government says people now have until the 26th of April to give their feedback on its draft after complaints the original time given was too short.

Submissions were orginally due this Friday.

Reverend Yabaki says people in Fiji invested much time giving their views on the first draft of the Constitution Commission which was dumped and now have to face up to a document with many deficiencies.

"The fundamental question mark is whether this government is prepared to listen....it has no independence. Who is to listen to the views?"

Reverend Yabaki says the government should own up to what he calls a rushed job.

The Fiji government has not responded to requests for information on the submission process.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama says he is concerned that some individuals and NGOs are trying to mislead the public over the regime's draft constitution.

Fiji Live reports him saying he is however encouraged by much of the discussion and debate taking place.