Coalition Government reminded to follow proper consultation and deliberation

Fiji's Government MPs and deputy PM trio - Manoa Kamikamica, Prof Biman Prasad and VIliame Gavoka make their way to Parliament for the opening of the 2023-2024 session of Parliament on Friday, February 3, 2023. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere sent a stern reminder to the people’s coalition Government to ensure that all laws and legislation that are drafted, follow proper consultation and deliberation, and are taken to the people.

He also reiterated the need to focus on the rule of law and democratic processes, including transparency, accountability, respect for human rights and freedoms, and listening to the views of the people through genuine consultation.

While opening the 2023-2024 Session of Parliament yesterday, Ratu Wiliame said the views of all members of various communities must be heard.

“I urge the peoples coalition Government to ensure all initiatives and draft legislation must undergo a thorough consultation process for better outcomes, to ensure inclusiveness and foster greater ownership,” the President said.

“Government must ensure that draft laws are deliberated in consultation with relevant stakeholders, particularly through the Standing Committee process.

“Petitions must be accommodated so that the voice of the people is heard in Parliament when they seek solutions to issues that are of concern to them.

“The Government must continue to adhere to the constitutional doctrine of the separation of powers as a cornerstone of our democracy, and the necessity for public servants to perform their duties independently.”

He also cited the recent announcement by Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka to hold municipal council elections for city and town councils.

Ratu Wiliame said democracy was broadened and localised further with the empowerment of rural communities to choose their advisory councillors through elections.

“The councillors are a vital link in gathering data and deploying assistance to our rural communities.”

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