Discussion Paper proposes abolishment of communal seats

People, this is taken from One National News. Who the hell is Father David Arms? What authority does he have to put forward these changes? Does he and Mataca truly believe there are doing the right thing in supporting the illegal government?

Interestingly enough, the communal roll system was first proposed by the NFP during the Constitutional talks in Britain, which was strongly opposed by the Fijian Leadership because of their being in the minority. One thing that we at SV believe in is no matter what they do to the Constitution, it will never remove the ‘coup culuture’ or ‘racism’ because this has to do with ‘attitudes’ which is within a person and not written rules that is ‘without.’

 These artificial illegal intrusions into the Constitution will fail becauseand will only further harden and widen the racial divide and have catastrophic results and consequences on the people. BE ALERT PEOPLE!

SV Team.

4 Jun 2008 02:02:07

Documents obtained by One National News reveal there are chances all communal seats will be abolished under electoral changes now supported by the National Council for Building a Better Fiji.

There is a proposal to introduce common roll in all 71 seats.

A discussion paper prepared by Father David Arms says these Electrol changes have to be place before the 2009 elections.

The paper also proposes that a political forum be convened to discuss electoral changes, which the Presidents office is now facilitating.

Titled the Urgency for a Change of Electoral System, the paper was discussed by the NCBBF members at their last full meeting.

Obtained by One National News this paper proposes ways to change our Electoral system before any new elections.

Father David Arms writes the present electoral system (AV) is written into the Constitution. Changing it therefore at this time is problematic. The ideal to be sought at this time is consensus on the need for a change of system and the broad parameters of that system. If that is not possible, the aim must be to secure a high level of support for the changes, plus the assurance from independent and impartial observers that the new system is truly neutral and fair. The system should then be used for the 2009 elections.

Father Arms then puts forward an ultimatum, if democracy in Fiji is to take hold, substantial electoral reform is essential. What’s more, such reform should take place before the elections scheduled for 2009. Notice the emphasis on before.

The discussion paper then talks about working outside of the Constitution.

Father Arms says Fiji is operating, like it or not, outside the normal constitutional framework, it does provide an opportunity to re-assess certain Constitutional provisions, it is irresponsible as well as undemocratic to simply go back and try to hold elections under the same misguided framework that has already yielded such unacceptable results.

In his recommendations the NCBBF discussion paper says there is need then to scrap the AV system and introduce a better system forthwith. Abolish entirely the communal seats and introduce a common roll for all 71 seats, with divided into four Divisions for voting purposes and hold a forum of political and other interested parties, and invited experts, to discuss the proposed new system.

The President’s Office has been asked to convene this political forum it’s not known if both the Commonwealth and the United Nations have responded to assist as requested by the President in this letter.


28 Responses to “Discussion Paper proposes abolishment of communal seats”

  1. Ima Says:

    Firstly, I do not support the idea, because it seems rushed and have not been thought through well. Why the rush when VB himself has been contradictory about having the polls in March ’09?

    It seems this illegal government and all its small working groups e.g. NCBBF are borrowing ideas from past governments as well as some political parties (eg MC’s offer of 50yr lease – from SDL govt, now this abolishment of communal seats – from NFP). Can’t they do something original….oh, I get it, they are big time copy-cats!!!

  2. Mark Manning Says:

    It just has to be said , the President has shown his inability to perform any of his duties impartially , if at all ! I personally doubt that he is capable of discussing anything coherently with the Commonwealth or the United Nations on behalf of the Government or the people of Fiji . I even question his ability to make himself a cup of tea ! It appears to me that he has sold Fiji and Fijian culture , to the lowest bidder .
    On Father David Arms , I agree , who is he ?
    Again , this intrusion by a man of the clothe , has highlighted if not proved , that religion and politics don’t mix .
    What is the motive of this priest that he has involved himself in Fijian politics ?

  3. FijiGirl Says:

    This illegal regime has no right, remit or mandate to alter, change or undermine Fiji’s Constitution.

    Any changes they make to the Constitution will be overturned by the next legally elected govt.

    Chodo still thinks that he can hoodwink the people of Fiji by rigging the next elections using tactics commonly employed by the Indian diaspora. But he is so-o-o-o-o wrong.

    The international election observers (and yes, they will be here) will pick up on every transgression of Chodo’s because the pro-democracy movement will not let them be ignored.

    Chodo’s plans are coming together at the same time that they are unraveling.

    He will be stopped.
    God bless Fiji

  4. Mark Manning Says:

    This illegal regime , because the public have done nothing to stop them , has every intention , if not the right , of changing or abrogating the constitution . They have had no resistance from the population !

  5. Shri Baladeva-Balarama-Vasudeva-Subhadra-Nanda Baba Says:

    Not surprising at all. They’ll meddle with any and every thing in order to “win” the next “election”.

  6. Katalina Balawanilotu Says:

    hahahahahahahahahah! very funny Mark. No he can not make himself a cup of tea ! Someone said his people request his return to Viseisei village and retire comfortably watching the sunsets from his beautiful front-porch.
    I am just dying for the day when someone or a group brave enough to stand up to these crooked lawbreakers and sieze Fiji from their grasps.

    There isn’t a method, style, theory, or fancy description, to bring about a shred of change TO the Constitution except in the ways stipulated IN the Constitution.

    These people are a bunch of block heads. Pure and simple.

  7. Katalina Balawanilotu Says:

    There you go Mark. It is my dream. Someday I will wake to see real resistance to this mad group of cows.

  8. Augustus Says:

    Its dangerous to change the rules for election at this mid point..especially when this illegal regime is driven by the agenda of a few people accountable to no one…It seems they are hell bent on making sure that they will not miss the boat as the demograhic shift and other developments in the country are finding them increasingly isolated, irrelevant and at the fringes of power play and politics and all the trappings that come with it. I am talking about those in the illegal regime and their disciples … the MAra, Ganilau, Chodory & his followers, & people like $2 man, Ralogaivau etc….The coup, no matter what they say about corruption, equality and all the poolitically correct nuances, was made to make sure these people are always on center stage and survive & become relevant. How these affect the people, the Fijian people especially, is irrelevant. Therefore the electoral system they are proposing will make sure that this happens…it is an integral part of their coup objectives…cos the road to legitimacy and legality & everything else lead from there. Certainly abolishing the communal system of voting will be going outside the constitution..therefore it will be very likely that they will have a free hand in redesigning the electoral system so that it will suit their purpose, and their prupose only, if they are going to do that…Perhaps this can mean drawing constituency boundaries that may not follow the provincial boundaries (believe something like that is in the constitution), they can create pockets of constituencies to ensure people of vanua or yavusa etc are split up into various constituencies…so that people of socio-geograhic connections and influence are not going to think and discuss together… It would be better to see the total package of the electoral system they are proposing…???eg How many reps will each voter be able to choose etc…what if they say only people of certain standing and influence and money can stand the elections…out goes SDL, Chiefs, etc…May be they will go back to the constituency system they had in the alliance days… in order to weaken the traditional chiefs influence..( like when Rt Penaia was defetaed in Cakaudrove by a Atu Mataitoga..etc).

    But the coup has polarised the thinking of the people and that will influence how the election is contested and won…just like the military threats on LQ’s administration and clean up campaign leading up to the election polarised the Fijian voters in the last election. This time only it will be total…but whatever happens they will make sure that their sysetm will work for them & they put their folks up there in poarliament ..failing which it will be payback time for Qarase & Co.and the law will surely get them But then, the military is always there to take over just in case…then we are back to square one, and we go through the cycle once again and again….

  9. Striker Says:

    Learn Fiji! Know the real motives behind the coup of 2006. Why are the Catholics, especially the Jesuists involved in supporting the coup and the charter? In the Catholic order, the Jesuists operate to counteract the spread of Protestantism. It can be seen, from the actions of Jesuits such as Archbishop Mataca and from the writings of Jesuits such as Father Barr, that they had supported the 2006 coup. How else can you explain the appointment of catholics after the coup to prominent govt. positions? That’s their share of the victor’s spoil! These Jesuists view the SDL government as a Protestant govt. Unlike the Alliance, where the head poncho was catholic, these Jesuists were envious of the growing power of the protestants especially the Methodist Prime Minister, and for some imagined reason, the Methodist Church. So they supported the removal of the SDL govt. And to consolidate their position, this Father Arm now comes up with what these conspirators think is the knock out punch, changing the election rules to make it more difficult for the predominant Fijians who are mostly protestants, from running the government.
    But, like we have seen, this is another fiasco, on top of the many IG fiascos. For one thing, prominent Fijians of the catholic faith ousted in the coup on the SDL govt were elected by their own people who in most cases, are themselves protestants. These prominent members of the catholic faith now begrudge their mis-treatment, and this has sheared the catholic faith. Second, despite Jesuists’ intentions, a large number of the Fijians who are catholic still support the SDL – this was apparent at the recent SDL AGM. Further, the minority parties have already indicated that they will not support common roll and the removal of communal voting as it will leave them unrepresented and vulnerable.
    Conclusion? As I said, another fiasco!

  10. gryphon Says:

    It began on November 2, 2000. Frank Bainimarama was sitting in the Officers Mess having tea with his officers when a group of mutinous soldiers made an attempt to assassinate him in their effort to stop a case of treason against them. The Commander of the Fiji Military Forces had to flee his barracks through a maze of forests and finally found solace far away from the camp which had become a battleground and in the hands of Counter Revolutionary Warfare elitists – Fiji’s version of the US Marines.

    While the rest of the story played out on Fiji’s national television and the populace sat in shock and awe, sources close to the man who nearly lost his life say that he vowed to take revenge for the death of loyalist soldiers – killed in the massive gunfire which took place during which the camp was recaptured by the loyalists. Years later, Bainimarama is still haunted by the events of that day and has taken steps to bring those to justice and in the process, overthrown the government he had initially helped to form during the dark days of May 2000.

    So what drives someone on in the face of a collapsing nation, racial tensions and a steadily increasing inflation rate? Those who know and understand the current regime say the Bainimarama is driven by the foresight that allowing the previous government to return to power would mean the three controversial bills to be re-instated and the individuals who carried out the coup of 2000 be set free and their crimes pardoned by an ailing president. Even more close to him say that Bainimarama will not release his iron clad grip until he is in a position where he can ensure the next president is one who he can trust and one who will not have him charged for treason. Another possible reason for his reluctance to release power is the possibility of him being sacked from the military and disgraced as a soldier should the previous government return.

    With the prospect of elections taking place next year in doubt, the International Community waits with baited breath to see whether Bainimarama will allow the previous government ministers to participate when the election does eventually take place. What further compounds the situation is the initial announcement by Bainimarama that all current interim ministers will not be allowed to contest in the interest of fairness and accountability. To an observer, this raises serious questions about the future of the current ministers. There are a number of hardboiled ministers such as Chaudary who have lived their entire life in the spotlight and would find it immensely difficult living a life of a retired gentlemen. The lives of the remaining green politicians will forever be marked down in history. People such as the Attorney General, Aiyaz Saiyad Khaiyum still have a long way to go in their professional lives – will they be able to find jobs in private law firms when they finally leave their current positions? To simply take up positions, albeit constitutionally illegal, is a reckless move akin to what Carl Sagan did many a time during his colorful life.

    Granted that the current regime has time and time again stated publicly that the constitution is still intact, the question of the legitimacy of the previous (SDL) government now poses a major question in the coming days. The technicality of the matter is glaringly obvious: The purpose of a coup de etat is to remove a democratically elected government and replace it with another one, preferably the choice of the military as they are generally the ones who initiate such actions. The second step in any coup is the abrogation of the constitution in order to legitimize the action and the new government. The abrogation of a constitution is usually followed by a set of decrees which legalize the actions and ensure prosecution cannot be carried out against the actions of the perpetrators and the action itself.

    The Fiji Military has not abrogated the constitutionally abrogated the constitution and has in its stead, merely assumed powers and taken over the offices of the legally appointed ministers. In this case, taking into account the constitution is still not abrogated and decrees have not been made to give the actions any legitimacy, the logic which follows is this: The previous government is still in power and can exercise their powers over the state at any point should they wish to do so. The office of the Prime Minister is still legally entitled to Laisenia Qarase.

    The question that should really be asked at this stage is : Who do the people of Fiji look to?

  11. kuku Says:

    We really shouldn’t be afraid of this one man one vote bull. We have the number and we know we can win this things hands down? All we have to put in place is the International and United Nations Election observers and the United Nations police should be requested to police and ensure that the election regulations is followed and people are not intimidated by the Military or Fiji Police forces. Lets just keep an eye against Chodo and his current illegal importation of indians, to work in Fiji Sugar industry, using this organization to shipped in his Kaivata, to elect his labour party into power? We should be reporting this to the UN and EU so that they would be aware of Chodo and his bags of tricks?

  12. Jese Waqalekaleka Says:

    The issue is not whether ‘the one man one vote’ will benefit the Fijians at this time because we have the numerical superiority, but the act of changing the law without Parliamentary authorisation.

    The illegal regime is calling all the shots because as MM has correctly stated. there has been no resistance in Fiji or abroad. The question is what needs to be done?

    Some favour a more aggressive stance, which could lead to bloodshed, whilst others favour a passive one.

    They have been in power now for over 18 months and continue to change the grounds rules at their whim and it looks highly unlikely that General Elections will take place in March next year or if it does, it will not be free and fair, so really what other options are there?

  13. church mouse Says:

    A google search found that Father/Rev David Arms wrote a piece ‘The case for reform of the electorial system in Fiji’ in a book. He is a New Zealand missionary in close contact with Fijian speakers and wrote about language. He is a NZ citizen and a Fiji resident. He belongs to the Missionary Society of St Columban and is/was in Ba. So how come is is an expert on the need for a common roll in Fiji? Pray, brother, pray!

  14. Peace Pipe Says:

    gryphon is correct. The ig is illegal and if it is overthrown it will be a legal and internationally accepted action since no govt has formally recognised it as a legit govt. The big million dollar question is how do we do it without weapon and military support. Now they are going about making all sorts of changes illegally and try to get into power by crooked means – charter, change of voting system and stopping SDL from contesting. WE have amongst us bloggers some fine brains and can think up some brilliant plans and strategies to achieve some of our objectives. But raw courage and leadership is left. The pig and his cronies have been in power for too long and the longer it gets the more accepted it will become and we could lose the steam to do anything as time goes on. Whatever we do we must must not let the charter and the voting changes happen. So far so good that most of the provinces except 2 or 3 have reject it so it will not be an accepted treaty if they try to enforce it. What about the pathetic Bad eye in the news tonight. He said leaders are violating the rights of people by blocking the charter team from informing them of the charter. The only thing to inform is that it is detrimental to the Fijian people not any other camouflaging lies to fool the people.

  15. Mark Manning Says:

    Frank is underestimating International reaction if he thinks he can avoid an election in 2009 . the unions can shut Fiji down , the EU can shut down the sugar industry , Australia and New Zealand can decimate the tourism there and the UN can send peace keeping forces home if necessary .
    Why doesn’t Frank just take himself and his family to another country and the soldiers return to barracks . Then the elected Prime minister can reconvene Parliament and the Cabinet can re appoint Officers to the Police Tactical Response Group and have those in the IG arrested for treason and let the Courts do their job , those arrested , should include some within the judiciary also .
    So , the quickest and easiest way to get on with life in Fiji , is for Frank to go to North Korea !

  16. Vu Says:

    Mrk, why North Korea? How about Somalia or Siberia. Wait there is the whole of the Artic Continental Shelf to have as his own.

  17. aubatinuku-N Says:

    Na boto ga ni Sauloa, so he never sees the light of day!

    Sorry for the Fijian Mark, “Na boto ga ni Sauloa” would roughly translate to “The deep dark trenches of the ocean floor”!!

  18. natewaprince Says:

    I say let them abolish the communal seats and introduce whatever voting system they prefer.If they enforce something illegal and say it is legal,then the consequences of their actions should also be deemed to be legal.

    Einstien’s theory on relativety says that every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

    Therefore,the stronger the action,then expect the reaction to also be stronger.

  19. natewaprince Says:

    Boi vinaka na posting qo,e sega na boi moromoro.

  20. Striker Says:

    @ Peace Pipe. While I agree, overthrowing this IG should be a very simple exercise. It is unpopular, stealing the will of the people. And because of its callous actions, it has already largely overthrown itself. Even dictators with large military might behind them such as Marcos, Pinochet and others were overthrown by the simple will of the people. My honest opinion? We don’t need guns or the military. I see the mighty hand of our God of justice already working. And it is now only a question of time, His time!

  21. Johny Foreigner Says:

    The Interim PM is a liar. He states that ‘investors money is safe in Fiji’. Fact – $2 million lost by this foreign company as a direct result of his coup and losses still rising. That is the reason foreign investors have stopped investing in Fiji.

  22. Imroz Buksh Says:

    Common Roll versus Communal Roll, Inclusiveness vs Exclusiveness; I believe its high time that we do away with the communal roll becos it fosters the racial politics that has been dominating the local scene for a longtime,its breeds and mentors racist leaders. the Fijians shouldn’t be hoodwinked by the fear that Indians and other races will dominate Parliament, or that they will lose their Political Power. Labour Party won using the same voting system that we have now, so its a pack of lies to say that without the Communal Roll the Fijian dominance of Politics in Fiji is lost forever. George Shiu Raj is a testament that an Indo Fijian can do a better job than Fijian Politicians when it comes to serving the people, Lek Ram Vayeshnoi is the other person, they do not differentiate whether you are Fijian or of Indian heritage or other…service provided fairly to everyone regardless of race,color or crede.

  23. IslandBoy Says:

    Guys wait for the day they try to implement their new layered electoral system.

    This is what happens when old dickheads, completely out of touch with the real Fiji pontificate aided by large doses of scotch.

    It was such a tough job trying to get people to understand about voting either above or below the line, this new system will result in 2 valid ballot papers per polling station.

    Even Mataca is complaining their NCBBF/GCC messages are not getting through to the people, this one is gonna be a doozy. Good luck with voter education in the vernacular dimwits.

    @church mouse – good call, David Arms was based in Ba, Mahen’s home boy.

  24. Katalina Balawanilotu Says:

    Agreeing with Peace Pipe. Pinochet stuck around for 15 years. Marcos several decades. I definitely do not want Bainimarama around for that long. There will be nothing left of Fiji’s hope for anything decent if these people are allowed their illegal dictatorship rule for that many years.

  25. Frida Says:

    I believe what voting format will be introduced, this illegal regime will hear very clearly the voice of the people. Kua na rere – many people are aware now of what should be. We must thank people who are sharing information from the blog sites as solivakasama because they have been really educational. keep at it people – the more views shared the better so the what if’s are addressed squarely.

  26. Adi Kaila Says:

    If the elections are to go ahead in 2009 they better get their act together – changing the voting system isn’t as easy as it sounds and as IB said trying to get the non English speaking amongst us to comprehend it will be a challenge they have not anticipated.

    Leave it to the mudder fuggers – let them muddle their incompetencies among themselves – however the elections go I for one will be telling all and sundry how not to vote for any ig coupsters.

  27. Jose Says:

    @ Imroz Buksh
    We simply don’t want any alien in the running of our government in our country. Period. You all just live peacefully among us.

  28. Jose Says:

    Imroz Buksh and Bhudau are the same person. I have no doubt about that.

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