NEWS: Fiji Gov't committed to roadmap despite public "mistrust", say ACP-EU mission
Suva, FIJI, 25 July 2012/ FT: THE visiting African Caribbean Pacific and European Union (ACP-EU) fact-finding mission to Fiji has expressed confidence in the government's efforts to return Fiji to democracy by 2014.
Co-chair of the ACP-EU fact finding mission and Kenyan Parliament Minister Musikari Kombo made the comments as the mission concluded its visit to Fiji yesterday.
The ACP-EU team was on a mission to better understand the political situation in Fiji.
"On the part of the government, especially with the decrees that we saw in the two days while we were here, setting up the Constitution Commission and the constitution consultation process shows the government has a commitment that elections take place in 2014," Mr Kombo said.
He said the mission had encouraged the government and the Constitution Commission to ensure the writing of the constitution was participatory.
"What I see is commitment from all sides, I see ordinary Fijians saying we want this process to finish and we don't want people to change their minds in between and we hope this is what's going to happen," he added.
Mr Kombo said the fact-finding mission had unearthed a general mistrust between civil societies, ordinary people and the government, however, he felt the government was committed to its mission.
"The question being asked is will the government live up to its promise, that was the general theme," he said.
"And from the government side, they are saying we want to change the society of Fiji which has been run on racial basis, so it is a mindset change and the government is committed," he added.
Mr Kombo said the interests of the ACP-EU fact-finding mission lay in ensuring that Fiji returned to democracy and normalcy while at the same time respecting human rights.
Fiji's Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said he had briefed the EU-ACP fact-finding mission on the government's roadmap to democracy.
He said the mission had been happy with the processes put in place by the government to ensure Fiji returned to democracy.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said that while the mission was unable to talk to people in rural areas, he still felt they had attained good exposure to the political and social climate in Fiji.
(Photo: Michele Rivasi of France, introducing members of the ACP-EU delegation to Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during a meeting at the AG's office in Suva, yesterday/ ELIKI NUKUTABU/ FT)
- By Tevita Vuibau/ Fiji Times