Fiji Labour Party welcomes the recommendations of the UN Human Rights Council
following its Universal Periodic Review 2014 just concluded in Geneva on the human rights situation in Fiji.
We note in particular the Council’s observations on the seriously flawed 2013 constitution imposed by the regime on the people of Fiji. The FLP has maintained all along that the regime’s constitution was undemocratic, that it undermined the fundamental rights of our people, and failed to maintain the separation of powers between the executive, the legislature and the judiciary, thereby undermining the independence of the judiciary.
The UN Council calls on Fiji to establish a Constitution Commission to carry out a comprehensive review of the 2013 constitution to reflect the will and aspirations of the people and to cease any executive or political interference with the independence of the judiciary and the legal profession.
While these are encouraging recommendations, FLP maintains that there is no need to go through the additional expense and time-consuming task of yet another review of the constitution.
“We should reinstate the draft Ghai Constitution and put it through parliament for its approval. After all, the Ghai draft addresses the main concerns of the UNHCR. It also meets the requirement for the constitution to reflect the will and aspirations of the people of Fiji.
The Ghai Commission considered more than 7000 oral and written submissions before compiling its draft,” said Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry.
We note that Fiji has been told to report back to the UNHCR by March next year. This gives ample time to put the Ghai draft before Parliament for its consideration.