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Constituent Assembly To Represent All: Fijian PM
Source: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-12/07/c_132026203.htm
Source Date: Friday, December 07, 2012
Country: Fiji
Created: Dec 07, 2012

SUVA, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said Friday the Constituent Assembly he'll appoint to review the new Constitution will represent the broadest possible cross section of the Fijian society.

Fijians could not allow a narrow band of elite people to again determine the country's future, Bainimarama said, which he said had happened with previous constitutions.

Fiji already had a handful of people determining what the constitution would be after independence, and the 1990 Constitution was imposed with almost no consultation at all, Bainimarama said, adding this will not happen again.

He said the Constitutional Commission had travelled the length and breadth of the country to receive submissions from Fijians on their views of what should be included in the Constitution, and through this process, the views and opinions of Fijians who had been marginalized and sidelined in the past were given a voice.

"The Constituent Assembly will consist of the broadest possible cross-section of Fijian society, as set out in the relevant decree. But to qualify as members of the Constituent Assembly, individuals and organizations will need to demonstrate that they represent a significant constituency in the country... They must also be guided by a commitment to the interests of the nation and the Fijian people as a whole," said Bainimarama.

Under the Fiji Constitutional Process (Constitution Commission) Decree 2012, the Constitution Commission will formally present the draft constitution and the Explanatory Report to President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau in the first week of January 2013 before the Constituent Assembly holds its first meeting in the second week of the same month.

The decree also outlined that the work of the Constituent Assembly is to be completed at the latest before the end of March 2013.
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