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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

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Bainimarama: Fiji Will Have New Constitution Early In 2013
PM’s New Year’s address focuses on national progress

By Indrani Krishna

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Jan 1, 2013) – Fiji should have a new, modern and enduring Constitution by the end of the first quarter of 2013, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says.

In his New Year’s address to the nation, Bainimarama envisioned the year 2013 to "set the scene" for the 2014 elections which will be done under the new Constitution.

"A Constitution that must ensure common and equal citizenry and a Constitution that just ensure that any representatives of the people in the new parliament must be elected under the principle of one person, one vote and one value," he said.

Bainimarama also announced plans to revamp the national flag.

"All of this is to reflect a sense of national renewal, to reinforce a new Fijian identity and a new confidence in being Fijian on the global stage."

Meanwhile, in two weeks’ time Bainimarama will be travelling to New York to formally assume Fiji’s chairmanship of G77 Plus China.

Later in the year, Fiji he said would host some of the G77 leaders in what promises to be the biggest gathering ever of foreign leaders in the country.

He also mentioned the meeting of the governing committee of the International Sugar Organization in Fiji where the government is determined to "keep sugar a viable and sustainable industry for the 200-thousand Fijians who depend on it."

The prime minister also reflected on the year 2012 and called on all Fijians to contribute positively to the process leading up to the 2014 elections.

He made special mention of the victims of Cyclone Evan and paid tribute to all who contributed in the rehabilitation efforts.

The prime minister promises all victims of the cyclone that he will do all in his power to "assist you to rebuild your homes and your lives."

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