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Keep policies clear

Shayal Devi
Monday, June 30, 2014

POLITICAL parties should clearly outline their policies on land before the September election, says the Citizens Constitutional Forum.

A statement by the CCF said many political parties and commentators had expressed concerns about the loss of iTaukei control over land in the 2013 Constitution and various decrees.

"Given the history of land issues, this has had the effect of instilling fear and creating uncertainty among both landowners and tenants," CCF said.

"CCF is of the view that any discussion involving land must be free of ethnic politics. Political parties and independent candidates should refrain from instilling fear into iTaukei landowners and ensure that the protection of the legitimate interests of all communities and groups will become part of the national ethic and practice."

According to CCF, previous workshops held by the organisation found there was a need for expert research and analysis on Fiji's ongoing land problems.

"Politicians should start engaging in dialogues with landlords, tenants, the iTaukei Land Trust Board, the Land Bank and land governing authorities to reach a substantive solution to Fiji's land issues.

"Land politics has hindered Fiji from moving forward and this has been evident from the first coup in 1987. Key players should focus on finding collaborative solutions to the problem, rather than politicising the issue."

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