December 11, 2012

Power limits proposed for Fiji’s draft constitution

Posted at 02:21 on 11 December, 2012 UTC

The Constitution Commission has proposed a largely ceremonial president for Fiji to be chosen by a new body to be known as the Assembly of Fiji.

The recommendations are among a leaked set of proposals being looked at for Fiji’s fourth constitution.

Sally Round reports.

“The document published on various Fiji blogs rounds up the Commission’s recommendations to the experts it has been consulting as it writes the draft constitution. The Commission’s head, Professor Yash Ghai, has confirmed the ideas are the Commission’s tentative thinking as it comes up with its final draft to be presented on the 20th of this month. The document points out a crisis of culture in Fiji which remains deeply fragmented racially and lacking in democratic roots. For parliament, mothballed since 2006, it details the same number of seats, a term reduced to four years and no senate. It says the Prime Minister should be limited to two terms with 71 MPs coming from four electorates, based on Fiji’s existing divisions. The Commission also proposed one vote for either an individual or a party, based on the list system of proportional representation. The commission wants a more democratic system of appointing the country’s Prime Minister with no role for the President and very few possibilities for the head of state to make independent decisions. It suggests a review of land laws and spells out public accounting measures and social justice rights to address poverty. Lacking in the document are any concrete recommendations on the military or immunity for coup makers.”

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