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Draft constitution ready by March

Ropate Valemei
Friday, January 25, 2013

THE final draft of the country's constitution will be ready by March.

This was revealed by Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola during a courtesy call to Solomon Islands Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo on Monday.

Ministry spokesman Peni Namotu said Ratu Inoke updated Mr Lilo on a number of issues.

Mr Namotu said the minister specified that while the merits of such a draft constitution were being acknowledged, there were certain critical elements that required further discourse and analysis.

"This is such as the size of Parliament relative to the size of Fiji's population, and the notion of a largely unelected national people's assembly comprised principally of non-government organisations sitting alongside the elected Parliament," he said.

Ratu Inoke told Mr Lilo the possible amendments that the Constituent Assembly would be considering, to the draft constitution, as opposed to what activists are deliberately interpreting to be 'a new draft constitution'.

"Minister Kubuabola assured PM Lilo that the new constitution would be ready by March this year."

He conveyed his confidence that Fiji would be meticulously monitoring the undertakings of the Constituent Assembly over the next month to ensure that the crux of the new constitution enshrines issues that are fundamental to democracy, and reiterated his support and the support of the government of the Solomon Islands to Fiji's efforts towards Parliamentary Elections in 2014.

Ratu Inoke also provided an outline of the recent developments on Fiji's new Constitution, confirming that following the successful completion of national consultations, a draft constitution had been tabled to the President of Fiji.

Mr Lilo thanked Ratu Inoke on recent political developments in Fiji, commending the manner in which Fiji has meanwhile conducted herself on the international front.


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