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Fiji Public Wants Poverty And Diversity To Influence New Constitution
Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-10-08/an-fiji27s-constitution-commission-upd/4300480?section=australianetworknews
Source Date: Monday, October 08, 2012
Focus: Training Institutions
Country: Fiji
Created: Oct 07, 2012

The chairman of Fiji's Constitution Commission, Professor Yash Ghai, says many public submissions on the country's proposed constitution have focused on poverty and how Fiji will be governed in the future.

Professor Ghai is overseeing the public hearings, which have entered their third and final month, and is travelling around Fiji hearing proposals from communities.

He told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat program poverty has frequently been mentioned, and that many hearings have also focused on governance

"(There have been) many complaints about the lack of welfare payments, difficulties in employment, difficulties of marketing their products because of inadequate infrastructure, and this is throughout the country, the difficulties people have coping with everyday life," he said.

Professor Ghai says while some Fijians want the country to be ruled by its indigenous citizens, others want Fiji to recognise its multi-racial diversity and represent it in its governance structures.

"We have been in the North Division over the last few days and a very strong theme coming out of that is people want Fiji to be a country of one people - common identity - even though differences of religion and culture would be honoured and respected," he said.
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