HOPE plans to review role of A-G

HOPE party leader Tupou Draunidalo. Picture: FT FILE

THE newly-registered HOPE party says it will appoint an Attorney-General from the private Bar if it forms government after the 2018 General Election.

Party leader Tupou Draunidalo said the 2013 Constitution allowed the appointment of the Attorney-General from the Bar.

“If the people of Fiji give us the honour to lead government, we would choose an A-G directly from the Bar like State and Federal governments in Australia usually choose their judicial officers,” Ms Draunidalo said.

In government, she said the party would ensure the senior lawyer appointed to the position of Attorney-General did not get involved in the day-to-day politics.

“As HOPE would prefer that whichever senior lawyer we appoint sits in Cabinet merely to give her or his independent legal advice and not be too involved in the day-to-day politics which may be overwhelming or not helpful for her/him or, the government in the execution of their jobs.

“The job should be a simple yes or no to a proposed course of action by government based on the law. “Other Cabinet ministers including lawyers can raise the political issues in Cabinet for the Attorney-General to address via the law.”

Ms Draunidalo said the party believed that the separation or distance of the Attorney-General from the running of the government would augur well for public perception, particularly from the business community.

“That would be our preference. Others may choose to do otherwise.”

She also said the party would field 50 candidates to contest the polls.

Ms Draunidalo said the selection criteria for the party’s candidates would be strict.

“We would like our candidates to reflect Fiji from different backgrounds and walks of life. “We would like them to be honest, trustworthy, younger, hardworking, team players, focused on our goal to make Fiji a liberal democracy such as Australia and New Zealand, know the struggles of life, be in touch with community needs and expectations of government and be able to clearly articulate without fear or favour those needs in Parliament so that the people are properly served.”

Ideally, Ms Draunidalo said if HOPE won 26 seats outright, it would be able to implement its policies in service to the people of Fiji

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