August 26, 2013

Fiji regime’s constitution should not be recognised - UFDF

Posted at 22:42 on 23 August, 2013 UTC

Fiji’s main grouping of political parties says the purported constitution released by the regime on Thursday has no legitimacy or legal authority and should receive no recognition.

In a statement, the leaders of the United Front for a Democratic Fiji, call on the international community to give the document no recognition, as it does not have the approval of the people of Fiji.

They say this purported constitution is being unilaterally imposed on the people of Fiji.
The UFDF says the regime’s constitution is tailored to perpetuate the illegal and dictatorial rule of the Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama and Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, and to protect them from the law for their treasonous activities.

But UFDF leaders warn the pair that the immunity provisions they have so excruciatingly entrenched into the constitution are not worth the paper they are written on.

UFDF leaders say parliament, as the supreme institution of the land, is not bound by any unlawful restrictions on its authority.

They also add the regime’s purported constitution ignores completely the doctrine of separation of powers between the executive, the legislature and the judiciary, so essential for the preservation of the rule of law.

In the statement, they say the Attorney General continues to exercise undue authority over the appointment of judges, senior Court officials and members of the Judicial Services Commission.

Adding, the independence, jurisdiction and authority of the Judiciary remains compromised and undermined by the Executive.

UFDF leaders also say there is no guarantee to the human rights provisions so laboriously written into the regime’s document because much of it - freedom of assembly, association and expression and the right to personal liberty are negated by the regime’s draconian decrees that violate universally recognized individual rights and the rights of workers and their trade unions.

They also say the proposed nation-wide single constituency is specifically designed to rig the ballot and produce a predetermined electoral outcome.

They say voter registration rolls have not been published so far for public scrutiny, and are unlikely to be published in the future, giving the regime full opportunity to manipulate the electoral process to suit its own ends.

The UFDF also believes there was a vast majority of people who rejected the regime’s document, expressing preference for the Ghai draft constitution, and they want the regime to publish all of the submissions they claim to have received.

UFDF leaders are challenging the regime to put their constitution to a referendum if they are so sure of its acceptance by the people.

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