Address 2013 Constitution anomalies first, claims Chaudhary

September 26, 2023 12:25 pm

Navua resident Bimal Chaudhary claims that there are anomalies within the 2013 Constitution that needs to be addressed first before municipal council elections are held.

While speaking during the Local Government Electoral Process public consultations in Suva last night, Chaudhary claims over 100 anomalies were highlighted by political parties prior to the general election last year, however, only a few were amended.

Chaudhary says the Ministry of Local Government cannot continue amending the constitution, as it has loopholes.

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“Here we are making rules to align Local Government Elections now in line with that draconian constitution, with that unfair Electoral system, it’s something that is detrimental to the ideas and principles of democracy.”

Chaudhary says the proposal is prematurely cooked up as the parties in government do not have ownership to these proposals.

“How can you expect the parties which are in government today which were opposing the constitution, opposing the electoral system, opposing the ideas and principles from which this systematic constitution dictatorship has been built in this country to go into government and change from white to black and say no what we are opposing in previous years is now good for us because we are now in government, no way!”

Permanent Secretary for Local Government Seema Sharma says the team will take the suggestion on board.

“The working group has the tasked of going back to the basics and finding out how should we go and get elections done.”

She says the Ministry is currently reviewing the Local Government Act 1972 to have the proposed amendment Act aligned with the national system.

Sharma says once 13 public consultations around the country are completed, the team will compile a report that will be taken up to cabinet for endorsement before it is tabled in parliament.

The council municipal elections are expected to take place in the second half of next year.