Fiji moves forward

It is good to see that Fiji is moving forward despite the best efforts of New Zealand and Australia to hamstring them.

Frank Bainimarama has announced another milestone in the reform of Fiji’s democracy. The most important step is a new constitution to replace the gerrymandered rubbish that was forced on them the last time.

For the first time, everyone will have a voice. This is a fundamental part of the constitutional formulation process that cannot be and must not be compromised.

The constitution must be premised on the fundamental values and principles set out in the People’s Charter for Change, which my Government has been advocating and implementing.

These principles and values are universally recognized and aspired to. Therefore, these principles and values are non-negotiable. They are:

  • A common and equal citizenry;
  • A secular state;
  • The removal of systemic corruption;
  • An independent judiciary;
  • Elimination of discrimination;
  • Good and transparent governance;
  • Social justice;
  • One person, one vote, one value;
  • The elimination of ethnic voting;
  • Proportional representation; and
  • A voting age of 18.

This is the sort of constitutional discussion that is meant to be taking place in New Zealand, though I doubt we will be so bold as to address fundamental issues such as the removal of race based voting and seats.

Fiji is taking time to re-organise their political and constitutional arrangement to a system that meets the needs of all Fijian citizens. It shows committment for them to stand strong against bullying from Australia and New Zealand.

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