Follow the Constitution, says party

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during the news conference. Picture: ATU RASEA

The non-adherence of the 2013 Constitution is something that all lawyers and lawyers within the Government should know, most of all the Attorney-General, says FijiFirst party general secretary Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

“We’re pointing out the fact that they’re not adhering to the Constitution,” he claimed.

“In terms of seeking constitutional redress, that’s something we may look at but what I am saying is that when you have for example people seeking to enforce their rights against the State or their rights are infringed, in this particular case it is very fundamental arguments pertaining to the assault of the Constitution.

“More importantly, there is a concept of what we call constitutionalism and it is about the actual embodiment of the values and principles surrounding the constitutions, surrounding the concepts of the rule of law, surrounding the adherence and enshrinement of those values and principles in your everyday procedures and systems.

“Section 123 of the Constitution says that all civil servants must be appointed on merit, on fair competition, you advertise the job so that everybody knows about it and everybody’s application gets assessed equally and then the best person is appointed for the job.”

He said the acting permanent secretaries’ positions were not advertised.

“You have Pita Wise and Parmesh Chand being announced as acting permanent secretaries, those two positions weren’t advertised and how can they be acting PSs when there not even substantive postholders.”

He said the very least applicants need to be treated fairly.

“One normally acts when they’re within the system. For example, when you’re a legal officer and if the senior legal officer goes away then you can say that the legal officer can act but you have to be within the system but more fundamental then that is the Constitution requires that any job in the civil service needs to be at the very least advertised.

“So here is a Government that is pontificating, that has been denigrating the previous government saying all these things weren’t happening but they themselves are fundamentally breaching the Constitution.

“The FijiFirst government never did that, all PS jobs were advertised, they were independently assessed, the right person was selected through a particular process.”

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