An encourging step

January 2nd, 2012 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

’s Prime Minister has announced an end to regulations┬áthat imposed martial law on the country in 2009.

In his New Year’s address to the nation this evening, Commodore Frank Bainimarama said Public Emergency Regulations would end from Saturday January 7. …

Martial law gave the military and police the right to use lethal force without being subject to judicial review, and also includes media censorship.

This gives some hope or cautious optimism for Fiji. I am not sure if Fiji will be able to transition back to a democratic state, and if the Commodore will surrender substantial power in 2014. But this is definitely a good step in the right direction towards a democratic Fiji.

The media censorship regulations especially were quite repugnant, and it will be good to see them gone.

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8 Responses to “An encourging step”

  1. Scott Chris (6,178 comments) says:

    David Farrar says:- “not sure if Fiji will be able to transition back to a democratic state”

    ‘Transition’ is not a verb. ‘Revert’ would have been a better choice.

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  2. immigant (950 comments) says:

    Saying and doing are two different things. Time will tell if there are nay actual changes. I’m betting not.

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  3. aitkenmike (95 comments) says:

    Immigrant – Sadly that was my first thought to. I hope we are wrong.

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  4. burt (7,425 comments) says:

    The media censorship regulations especially were quite repugnant, and it will be good to see them gone.

    The censorship regulations Labour drooled over when they passed the EFA under urgency.

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  5. Paul G. Buchanan (302 comments) says:

    The move is symbolic and can be reversed at any time. It is done with an eye on the proposed constitutional consultations set to begin this year, which supposedly will lead to the drafting of a new charter by Sept 2013. That in turn will outline the framework and procedures for the elections scheduled for Sept 2014. Dropping the state of emergency permits groups currently barred from political activities to join the consultations on very specific terms. Note that the word is “consultations” not “convention.” This informality allows the Baimimarama regime leeway in determining the conditions for constitutional discussions and is non-binding. As a much more formal affair, a constitutional convention would have limited the regime’s options.

    Baimimarama has already said that the constitution will not allow for ethnic preferences in voting or selection of political appointees, which signals his determination to limit the powers of the Great Council of Chiefs, among other things. In other words, he has already framed the constitutional consultations in a way such that his vision of a “proper” Fijian society will be advanced through them. He has also said that he plans to run for Prime Minister in 2014. This raises a number of interesting points, a few of which I address here: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1112/S00083/paul-buchanan-bainimarama-channels-pinochet.htm

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  6. pollywog (1,153 comments) says:

    I am not sure if Fiji will be able to transition back to a democratic state

    meh…democracy’s overrated

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  7. aitkenmike (95 comments) says:

    “Baimimarama has already said that the constitution will not allow for ethnic preferences in voting or selection of political appointees, which signals his determination to limit the powers of the Great Council of Chiefs, among other things. ”

    And in that he has my full support.

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  8. CLATONRATNAM (2 comments) says:

    WE FIJIANS WANT ONE VOTE ONE COUNT SYSTEM.OUR SAY BECAUSE OUR COUNTRY.WE SUPPORT MR. BAINIMARAMA BECAUSE HE IS DOING WHAT HIS PEOPLE WANT.WE HAVE AN AGENDA TO FOLLOW AND THAT IS TO MAKE FIJI THE WAY THE WORLD SHOULD BE.2014 ELECTIONS WILL SHUT THE MOUTH OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITIES WHO WERE AGAINST OUR AGENDA.WE WILL ACHIEVE OUR GOALS AND WE ARE PRETTY SURE ABOUT IT.WE KNOW THE REAL TRUTHS OF THE COUNTRY BECAUSE WE ARE THE VERY RESIDENTS OF FIJI.

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