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Fiji Time: 12:56 AM on Thursday 24 April

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1 passport

Felix Chaudhary
Thursday, April 11, 2013

THE citizenship provisions in the draft constitution is exactly the same as what existed in the 1997 Constitution and nothing has changed except for dual citizenship, said Attorney General and Electoral Reform Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Speaking prior to the start of draft constitution submissions at Lautoka yesterday, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the only difference was that anyone standing for parliament would now have to hold only a Fijian passport.

"This draft says quite specifically that if somebody stands for parliament, they can only be a Fijian citizen. You can't be the citizen of any other country also."

The A-G gave an example of how holding two passports could present problems.

"If one of you, for example, stands for elections and you hold a New Zealand passport and a Fijian passport and you become the Minister for Foreign Affairs and you have to meet the New Zealand Minister for Foreign Affairs and negotiate something on behalf of Fiji — where will your loyalty be if you hold two passports?

"So as a requirement, if you stand for parliament you must only hold a Fijian passport. This is not something unique to Fiji, Australia also does it."

The draft constitution submissions were conducted at the Tanoa Waterfront Hotel.