There is still room for improvement during this democratic transition period as we commemorate the global celebration of the International Day for Democracy this Friday.
“The Citizens’ Constitutional Forum strongly believes that most basic principles of democracy are yet to be fulfilled in Fiji despite a new Constitution,” says CCF chief executive officer Bulutani Mataitawakilai.
Accordingly, CCF again calls on government to ratify the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and fully implement its democratic values to the benefit of the people who are the ‘right holders’.
“The existence of limitation clauses in the Bill of Rights Charter under the 2013 Constitution, the fast-tracking of Bills in Parliament without wide public consultations, restrictive environment for media organizations, the suppression of freedom of expression, and the lack of people’s freedom to government information are some instances that fails to align with universal principles of constitutional democracy such as Fiji.
The continuous handouts by government have created an environment of ‘government dependency syndrome’ by the people which further challenges democracy in Fiji,” said Mr. Mataitawakilai.
This year’s theme Democracy and Conflict Prevention emphasizes on the need to strengthen democratic institutions to promote peace and stability, this is also asserted by Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals. This can only be achieved for Fiji if the Government willingly works together with the people irrespective of people’s perceived political affiliation.