“A Constitution should be a living document that must withstand the test of times”.
The following remarks were made by the Chief Executive Officer of the Citizens’ Constitutional Forum Mr. Bulutani Mataitawakilai on the occasion of the Constitution Day holiday.
“We are observing four years since the assenting of the 2013 Constitution by His Excellency the then President. Some observers still question the process leading up to the promulgation of this supreme law; however, we are still in the early stages of its implementation as we had a general election merely three years ago,” said Mr. Mataitawakilai.
The CEO has also urged the citizens of Fiji to read and comprehend the 2013 Constitution since this supreme document governs the everyday lives of Fijians. He commended the Government for making the Constitution readily available to the citizens in the three official languages including in brail language.
“If we look at our post-independent history, attempts were made to alter the Constitution after every turn of political turmoil. CCF has been instrumental in advocating for a just Constitution which upholds the sanctity of the rule of law, equality, sustainable democracy, a robust Bill of Rights, good governance and adequate checks and balances ever since our submission to the then Reeves Commission in 1997 and also during Prof. Yash Ghai’s Constitution consultations in 2012,” said Mr. Mataitawakilai.
The CEO emphasized that citizens must play a proactive role in ensuring that the 2013 Constitution passes the litmus test in order to uphold its sustainability. We also call on the Government to consider exercising its political will in order to review those aspects of the Constitution which hinder Human Rights.