1997 Constitution racially divisive, says former envoy

  • 2nd May 2005
  • 2005
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A former Australian envoy to Fiji has finally admitted that the 1997 constitution contributed to racial divisiveness in Fiji.

Susan Boyd who was the Australian High Commission to Fiji at the time of the 2000 coup, told the Accountants congress over the week-end that the constitution did not foster multi-racialism.

She was referring to the entrenchment of the communal electoral system in the 1997 Constitution, a point which Labour Parliamentary Leader Mahendra Chaudhry had vehemently criticised at the time.

Chaudhry had received no backing then from either local politicians or the international community who all ignored this major flaw in an otherwise commendable constitution.

She said the constitution forced racially based politics and “when elections are fought matters of national importance are forgotten.”