24 Oct 2013

Fiji top chiefs denounce regime's new constitution

2:43 pm on 24 October 2013

A statement has been issued by two of Fiji's paramount chiefs taking issue with the regime's constitution which has done away with entrenched provisions about land and customary institutions.

Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu and Ro Teimumu Kepa say the regime move is a wanton act and the highest form of disrespect.

The statement says the constitution released last month fails to have a mandate of the will of the people of Fiji.

It says the new document was taken around the public under a well orchestrated and controlled media to create the impression to the international community that the public has been widely consulted and has consented to it when in truth it has not done so.

The chiefs say the new constitution is designed to keep the perpetrators of the 2006 coup and their advisers from accounting for their unlawful actions.

While political parties have widely rejected the constitution, the international community has reacted positively to its release, describing it as a step towards elections promised for next year.