Commission statement incorrect: AG
07:04 Fri Jul 20, 2012
Taken from/By: FBC News
Report by: Maca Lutunauga
The government is concerned with what it calls factually incorrect assertions made by the Constitution Commission with respect to media freedom, access to the courts, and powers of the security forces.
Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum is responding Commission chair Professor Yash Ghai.
“So what the commission is doing, in making these broad sweeping statements is in fact, undermining the rule of law in Fiji. They’ve taken advantage of their independent position and they’re making such sweeping statements. They made sweeping statements about the security forces, intimating they have access to powers and all sorts of actions.”
Professor Yash Ghai said yesterday that they’re concerned with the promulgation of two decrees relating to the drafting of the new constitution, adding the essential principles of democracy are ignored and the independence of the Assembly negated.
“There’s been fears that the process will not be participatory if the current laws which give the government effective authority to refuse rooms to have meetings.”
Meanwhile Sayed-Khaiyum goes on to say they categorically dispute the allegations made by the Commission that the security forces have wide-ranging powers.
He says security forces are subject to the laws of Fiji and indeed, members of the security forces have faced charges.
The AG adds, with the conditions for the process of drafting the constitution now in place, they look to all participants to contribute constructively to the work ahead and to enjoy a civil, frank, and thoughtful exchange of ideas focused on the future.
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