February 22, 2012

Fiji's facade of open consultations

The illegal and treasonous is openly dithering with whether or not free speech can feature in their farcical constitution consultations and the IMF has come in with a serious blow to the regime's profile with the stark reminder of the throes of illegality that plague them.

Fiji needs to pave way for 2014 election: IMF
(AFP) – 5 hours ago  

WASHINGTON — The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday called for the military government of Fiji to relax emergency measures in preparation for a promised 2014 election, a rare Fund foray into domestic politics.

In its annual report on Fiji's economy, the IMF said its mission team in the country had found the economy needed structural reforms and a "concrete plan" ahead of the first elections since a 2006 military coup.

"Removing structural impediments to growth is critically important. Many of the mission?s interlocutors suggested that relaxing the emergency regulation and establishing a clear path toward a 2014 election would be the key measures to boost investor confidence," the report said.

"The current government took power in a 2006 coup, relations with traditional donors are strained, and FDI (foreign direct investment) has dropped sharply, though emerging donors remain engaged and have provided assistance," the IMF added.

"Elections expected for 2009 did not occur, but the government has subsequently announced plans for an election in 2014 and provided an allocation in the 2012 budget for electoral preparations."

IMF comments on domestic politics are rare; the report was approved by the Fund's executive board at the conclusion of the review on January 20.

Fiji's military strongman Voreqe Bainimarama announced on January 2 he would end emergency laws in place since 2009, when a Fiji court ruled his 2006 coup was illegal.

The IMF executive board said in an accompanying statement to the report that Fiji faces a preponderance of negative risks "given political uncertainties, structural weaknesses, and the fragile global economy."

Questionable civil society bodies like the Citizens Constitutional Forum, better known as CCF, unabashedly think they do us all a favour by coming out with guns blazing and openly feeding into the frenzy of illegality by supporting the charade of a new constitution without any consideration whatsoever from the populace, and only lending weight to its political leanings.

In fact, the CCF's recent hosting of a visit by constitutional expert Prof Yash Ghai and his wife was just all too convenient. For starters Ghai admits in his own publication on page 18, that he is/was the "father" of CCF.

"The most critical organisation was the Citizens Constitutional Forum (CCF). In December 1993 a consultation on reform led to the setting up of the CCF, which was to become the principal non-politically aligned group discussing the issue. This body was toa considerable extent the brainchild of Yash Ghai, who worked closely with Claire Slatter and Satendra Prasad, USP academics active in politics. Previously there was no forum for public debate and education on the matter. The initiative to set up a civil society group was supported by a number of academics and religious, gender and trade union organizations and funded by International Alert and later the EU through Conciliation Resources."

When the most recent coup erupted, Ghai "carefully, measuredly" and tacitly supported the illegal takeover.

It cannot be denied either that Ghai was teacher to, and oft cited in the construction of the Thesis of the the illegal and treasonous usurper extraordinaire, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum.

And now with growing support of some central voices of our civil society (such as those cited in Ghai's book) --  academics and religious, gender and trade union organizations -- now firmly saying something completely different to what CCF is pushing, the regime (and their supporters) and the reactives will continue to be most entertaining.

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