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Fiji Time: 9:27 PM on Saturday 23 August

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Leak claim false

Nasik Swami
Saturday, December 15, 2012

THE Constitution Commission has clarified that recent media reports and releases on blog sites stating some constitution papers have been leaked are not accurate.

Commission chairman Professor Yash Ghai said the documents creating much hype were only discussion papers.

Prof Ghai, while alerting the public, said they should not regard the preliminary proposals as final.

"The commission's work has always been transparent and a wealth of information about our activities, including all of over 7000 submissions we received from Fijians on which we relied heavily, can be found on its website," he said.

Prof Ghai said in November the commission held a consultation meeting with leading local experts and public servants on some preliminary proposals for the constitution.

He said the purpose of the meeting was to get feedback on these proposals as well as listen, more generally, to their views.

"In advance of the meeting all participants were emailed a memorandum with the title, Fiji's Constitution: A Consultation Document, and hard copies were provided at the meeting."

Prof Ghai said the document was prepared for the meeting and it was clear to all the participants that these were preliminary proposals and that their task was not only to comment on the proposals but to make additional proposals.

"While the document was meant for consultation and we did not expect participants to circulate it, it was not necessarily meant to be confidential (and was not so categorised).

"Therefore to describe its release to some blogs as a "leak" is not accurate," he said.

Prof Ghai said the commission was pleased to notice the interest shown by the people in the outcome of our process.

"The Commission is now completing its work, including the draft Constitution and the explanatory report. Our final recommendations will be those which we hand over to President on December 20," he said.


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