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Fiji Time: 9:43 AM on Wednesday 23 July

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Constitutional consultation will be inclusive, says AG

Elenoa Baselala
Thursday, May 03, 2012

FIJI will have a constitutional consultation process that is open and inclusive, says the Attorney-General and acting Prime Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum made the comment during a press conference following his meeting with the Pacific Islands Forum Ministerial Contact Group (MCG).

During the meeting, he was asked by Apisai Iilemia, Tuvalu Foreign Affairs, Tourism, Trade, Environment and Labour minister whether the approval of the constitution by the President would be a problem in the absence of a parliament.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said this was not the first time Fiji's constitution was being passed without a parliament. He said the 1970 Constitution was decided by a few men in Malborough House in London and brought to Fiji.

The AG added that the 1990 Constitution was announced around midnight and that the 1997 constitutional consultation was not inclusive.

He reiterated that this was the first time Fiji would have civic education as well as a constituent assembly.

The AG added that a report by the EU on the 2006 elections showed there were flaws.

For example, there was a 101 per cent voter turnout in one constituency.

The quality of the ballot papers were so bad that when they were stamped, voters were confused of where to vote.

He added there was a 10 per cent invalid registration.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the government had sought for good legal drafts people.

He also raised his concern with the New Zealand Foreign Minister, Murray McCully, on New Zealand banning government's advertisement of legal positions.


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