The Great Council of Chiefs
Note also that the three leading chiefly families within the GCC (the Maras, the Cakobaus, and the Ganilaus) who have traditionally provided the President, not only behaved without any constitutional ethics in 1987 and 2000, but also in 2006 and 2009.
There is little doubt that individual chiefs continue to provide strong leadership to their people in their own local areas. But collectively, they have failed Fiji.
- to declare that the1997 Constitution is still in place and must be abided by, including for its revision following the Ghai Commission Report and approval by the “Constituent Assembly”.
- to ensure a lawful implementation of the Ghai Commission Report, if unanimously supported by the political parties,
(a) the 2006 elected Parliament and Senate be recalled for the sole purpose of approving the Recommendations for the revision of the 1997 Constitution;
(b) the lawful dissolution of parliament following resignation by the last elected Prime Minister,
(c) the call for fresh elections under the revised electoral system; and
(d) the appointment of a civilian administration comprising members who will not stand in the 2014 elections, and who will only conduct the “ordinary business” of the state, nothing more.
The public also needs to make specific recommendations for
- the reform of the electoral system (I will give my suggestions on this).
- the removal of all ambiguity in the 1997 Constitution for the appointment of Presidents and Prime Ministers and the dissolution of Parliament
- the maintenance of the President as a “symbolic head” above all party politics, independent of passing governments, providing moral and ethical leadership for all Fiji citizens; with no executive powers which would merely replicate the elected government.
- agreement on a post-2014 election initiative for the reform of the GCC
- agreement on a post-2014 election initiative for the reform of the Senate
- agreement on a post-2014 election initiative for the regularization of military decrees, consistent with the 1997 Constitution
- explicit provisions for the legal and state response to any further military coups.
- the nature of amnesty provisions which may be provided
- the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
- the running of a referendum on the revised Constitution at the first national elections, with any remaining significant contentious issues, to be placed for approval or rejection on that Referendum Ballot paper.
Political parties should understand the long-term advantages to themselves in conducting this public education exercise (of course, they could leave it to the Regime, Akuila Yabaki’s CCF, and essay writing competitions).
Oh dear. What a pain, eh?
Law and order, and good governance, does not come easy, does it?