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The Lau Provincial Council called for the re-naming of the country to Viti instead of Fiji.
This was heard in their submission to the Constitution Commission at the Suva Civic Centre, Suva, on Wedneaday. The submission was read by their chairman Filipe Bole.
Lau, Mr Bole said, was calling for a common name for all the citizens of Fiji, the country to be called by its iTaukei name ‘Viti’, the protection for the rights and freedoms of the people, the protection of life, property and its ownership and Fiji to remain a secular state.
They highlighted that the main weakness of the past three constitutions was that none of them were designed to last.
“The 1970 Constitution was an experiment designed to test multiracialism in Fiji, and so devised a complicated voting system where each elector had multiple votes. The 1990 Constitution was designed to serve one purpose only and that was to return the country to parliamentary rule. It therefore, sanctioned racial election to suit the severe racial sensitivities of the post 1987 coup. The 1997 Constitution repeated the mistake of the 1970 Constitution by recreating national seats, reintroducing racial elections and giving each elector more than one vote in elections,” Mr Bole said.
“This submission accepts that most of the general and basic governance principles of the country will remain prominent in the new Constitution. Such principles include democracy, rights, freedoms, parliamentary government, rule of law, the separation of Church and State, and internationally recognised and tested institutions like the President, Prime Minister, Cabinet and Ministers, the Court system, State and Local government structures.”
“Another point which the Lau Provincial Council believes is crucial for consideration by the Constitution Commission is the inclusion in the Constitution of Directives that could result in a readier acceptance by future governments through more rapid socio-economic development in the rural remote maritime areas as well as to other disadvantaged groups elsewhere in the country.”
Their submission was made after its formulation during the Lau Provincial Council meeting last month in Suva.