July 13, 2012

Vakatale briefs Lomaiviti on constitution proposal

July 12, 2012 | Filed under: Fiji News | Posted by: newsroom

The Lomaiviti Provincial Council meeting yesterday heard first hand information on how to make submissions to the Constitutional Commission.

Taufa Vakatale, a member of the Constitutional Commission, gave the council a breakdown of the work required while opening the council meeting at the Jubilee Hall in Toorak, Suva.

Ms Vakatale said she was specifically asked to brief the council on how they could make their submissions to the Commission.

She reminded the council that the Commission was independent and would receive submissions from all groups, including political parties, provincial councils, religious groups, and individuals.

Ms Vakatale hinted on topics they could base their submissions on.

As for the Lomaiviti Provincial Councils she said they should hold discussions about the type of submissions they would make.

“You should now think outside the box, especially when looking at things that specifically concern the iTaukei people,” Ms Vakatale said.

She made suggestions on their submissions:-

  • The Provincial Council – Should this remain? By looking outside the box, they should think of the inclusion of all ethnic groups living in the Lomaiviti province to be members of the council. In doing this the Advisory Council should be abolished. One thing that should be looked at in this proposal is both there councils are headed by the Divisional Commissioners.
  • The iTaukei Ministry – Should this remain and if so how should it be funded? The council should make submissions on the changes they think needed to be done. They should also look at the iVola ni Kawa Bula (VKB).
  • The type of Government – The council should look at the type of government they want to lead them in future. Do they still want the British system where we have two houses – parliaments and senate, a prime minister and a President? Or we go with the type of government led by a president? The council should also look at the criteria to be used for those contesting the elections. If you want to set a minimum qualification you can put that in  your submission.
  • Citizenship – The council should decide whether the dual citizenship should remain. This item she said is very important and the council should study it thoroughly and make submissions on the changes they want done.
  • The 1997 Constitution – The council has the right to make submissions on what members think about the 1997 Constitution. If the council wants parts of it retained they should be done so through the submission. Still on that, if the council wants the Great Council of Chiefs be part of government they should include it in the submission.
  • Submissions – This she said could be done as groups, political parties, villages, districts, provinces and individuals. Submissions can also be done in writing or through the Commission’s website.

Once the Commission receives submissions and completes its work, it will be referred to the General Assembly.

According to Ms Vakatale, the Assembly replaces parliament for the final consent before the President assents it to become Fiji’s new constitution.

She said it was vital that all Fijians have their voice heard by the Commission.

The Lomaiviti Provincial Council meeting proper begins today at the Jubilee Hall.

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