The Citizens Constitutional Forum in its submission to the Constitution Commission has recommended that the size of the country’s military should be of a scale appropriate to Fiji’s national security requirements.
Speaking to the members of the Constitution Commission, CCF chief executive officer Akuila Yabaki said the recruitment and appointment of military personnel must be based on merit.
“The role of, size, membership of the military should be reviewed,” Mr Yabaki said.
He said the role of the security forces including the navy, military, police and Fiji Corrections Service should be redefined.
“Laws that give these bodies arbitrary powers should be reviewed,” Mr Yabaki said. He also recommended to the commission that the military be bound by the sovereignty of the constitution and accountable to civilian institutions such as the legislature.
“Immunity clause for coup perpetrators should be revoked.” Mr Yabaki recommended that there must be a clear separation of duties and responsibilities of the police and the military.
“The role and responsibility of the police is to maintain law and order,” he said. He said national security was the role of the police and the military must only be involved through a defined constitutional process.
He said Fiji’s new constitution should recognise the role of non-government organisations and civil society as a principle means of allowing the people to pursue and protect popular social reforms.