Police presence at FLP consultation meeting
The Fiji Labour Party held its second constitutional meeting in Ba last Saturday (June 16). It was attended by 40 participants from Ba, Tavua and Ra.
Permit for the meeting was approved by the Divisional Police Commander, Western under the following conditions:
- A civilian police officer will be present throughout your consultation programme
- No issue will be discussed in the meeting that will create threat or instability to the people at large
- The meeting should be confined to the agenda sent to the Police
Retain 1997 Constitution
Despite the presence of Police, the participants were adamant that we do not need to write up a new constitution. They resolved unanimously that:
• 1997 Constitution be retained and amended or added to where considered necessary by the genuine representatives of the people through a forum which should be created for the purpose.
This forum should complement the work of the Constitution Commission.
• The future role of the military should be thoroughly dealt with in the constitutional exercise
• The process must be detached and be independent of the interim government
• Every endeavor must be made to ensure the independence of the Constitutional Commission
• All issues relevant to constitution making should be considered by the Constitution Commission and there should be no caveat on any subject
• The entire process of returning Fiji to constitutional rule should be legitimate and credible and have the support of the people
• All sides should exercise calm and restraint and avoid the use of offensive and/or threatening language in their public statements
• The final decision on the constitution should be left to the people
• Policing of consultation meetings of political parties and/or NGOs should cease. There should be a free environment for discussions and expressions of views by the people
• Restrictions on the media to report freely and fully should be removed. There are confirmed reports of the media being warned by the regime not to report statements by political leaders
Similar consultation sessions are planned for other districts.