February 19, 2013

PM to announce Assembly soon

February 17, 2013 | Filed under: Fiji News | Posted by: newsroom

Government is set to announce the members of the full Constituent Assembly soon.

The announcement will be made by Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama after he has been told which existing political parties have successfully registered under the new political parties decree.

The Registrar for Political Parties must – within 14 days – publish a notice of each proposed political party’s application, after an initial assessment.

The public then has seven days to lodge serious objections. Should no objections be raised, the party will be entered into the Register of Political Parties.

To date, the Permanent Secretary of Elections, Mere Vuniwaqa, has confirmed that only two existing political parties – the Fiji Labour Party and the National Federation Party – have applied for re-registration before the deadline last Thursday.

The Prime Minister earlier announced that political parties that are successfully registered will be invited to the Constituent Assembly.

However, the PM notes with concern allegations of fraud committed by agents of a certain political party during the collection of member signatures.

These allegations are now under investigation by the Fiji Police Force and the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC).

The allegations being investigated concerns certain political party representatives who impersonated Government officials to get signatures for party membership to meet registration requirements.

Commodore Bainimarama will await the decision by the Registrar for political parties.

The Constituent Assembly has the duty to review and approve the draft constitution as required under the Fiji Constitutional Process (Constituent Assembly and Adoption of Constitution) Decree 2012.

The Decree requires that the Assembly be diverse, and where possible, be composed of members who represent registered political parties, faith-based organisations, trade unions, employers, the business community, Government, farmers and members of rural communities, the RFMF, national organisations, women, youth, people with disability, pensioners, other Fijian-registered civil society groups, and individuals, among others.

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