Prime Minister Bainimarama Urges Public Input to Constitutuion

Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has reiterated the need for the public to read and understand the draft Constitution and provide feedback.

During his recent trip to the western division where he opened a few critical infrastructure projects, the head of government urged the public to ensure that they provide relevant and constructive feedback to ensure that their views are taken into consideration in moving the country forward.

“I would like to remind you that our path to parliamentary democracy is before us. It is marked by a new Constitution and it will take us to elections next year,” he said.

“We will always have to work to perfect our system. But we know where it begins. It begins here, with a Constitution.”

“I urge you all to comment on the draft constitution. Remember, you are now our Constituent Assembly,” Prime Minister Bainimarama said.

The Prime Minister said the new Constitution will for the first time in Fiji’s history, guarantee socio-economic rights for every Fijian.

“These include rights to housing and sanitation, reasonable access to transportation, education, adequate food, clean water, a just minimum wage, social security schemes, health services and sanitation. And they also include specific rights for children and the disabled. Day-to-day issues such as these were the focus of many submissions made by ordinary Fijians to the Ghai Commission. That is why they are included in the draft,” the Head of Government said.

“This is your Constitution. It ensures that power lies with Parliament, which is elected and accountable to you the people. There is even a provision that allows for a referendum. None of Fiji’s previous constitutions has ever given so much direct power to the will of the people.”

“It creates a Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission and an Accountability and Transparency Commission. None of Fiji’s previous constitutions has ever created such bodies to keep public officials, civil servants and parliamentarians accountable and create transparency.”

The Prime Minister said these provisions together with others will enable the constitution to stand the test of time and will make it an enduring foundation for a new Fiji.