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Fiji’s New Constitution Is Answerable To All, Says Dictator

SUVA – Consultation process for the new constitution is well underway and will produce a truly democratic parliamentary system. Fiji Dictator Voreqe Bainimarama made this comment during the launch of the Ministry of Finance 2013 to 2014 strategic framework in Suva yesterday.

He said the new constitution would be about having a transparent, fair and reliable government, one that cared for the people and was answerable to all Fijians.

“We are breaking apart the old top-down way of doing things,” Commodore Bainimarama said. He said for the civil service, it meant that they would carry out the will of a legislative body elected directly by the people.

He said civil servants would be responsible to the elected government and civil servants were to faithfully follow the policies it established and without regard to their own politics or philosophy.

“This attitude of professional detachment from politics is critical to any quality civil service,” Commodore Bainimarama said.

“You have your vote and you have your conscience. Your duty is to carry out the will of the people as determined by their representatives,” he said.

He said some of the civil servants may be tested as Fiji entered an electoral campaign.

“I urge and admonish you to maintain absolute neutrality in your work and to adhere strictly to the laws governing political activities of civil servants,” he said. “… you will work for all future governments, and the people and their elected representatives must have faith in your professional integrity.”

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