Accepting the offer from the United Nations to send a Needs Assessment Mission is a timely decision by the Bainimarama Government and should be used to undertake further steps in ensuring there is transparency and full participation in the Constitution Development Process.
Citizens’ Constitutional Forum CEO Reverend Akuila Yabaki says the lending hand from the UN should be welcomed in recognizing the need for assistance in preparations for elections in 2014 from the International community as the citizens of Fiji are eager to make an attempt to finding solutions which would ensure sustainable democracy.
“CCF is hopeful that the NA Mission would prompt the international community and partners to reconsider their current stance and engage in areas where assistance can be rendered to allow free and fair elections and transparency and accountability in the constitution making process,” says Reverend Yabaki.
CCF believes that the Bainimarama government should also consider allowing an Independent observer mission to monitor the process and appoint an
independent constitution commission to oversee the constitution drafting and making processes, including the national consultations.
“In efforts to ensure that the processes from here on towards elections in 2014 are participatory and there is acceptance of the envisaged changes, it is vital that there is independent scrutiny of the mechanisms and methodology of the constitutional consultation process, as well as the composition of a Constitution Commission as it would pave the way towards legitimacy and public ownership of the new Constitution.”