|From the C4.5 archives: the unchanging times in Fiji.|
According to the illegal leader's speech on January the 10th when he dumped the Constitution Commission draft, his legal team would have a replacement by the end of January, the Constituent Assembly sitting by February and the new Constitution in place by March.
We quote Frank Bainimarama: "The new draft should be available for deliberation by the end of January 2013. Prior to that and upon my return from the G77 meeting, I shall send out invitations to various individuals and organisations to participate in the Constituent Assembly. The Constituent Assembly is to have its first sitting in February 2013. We expect, as announced last year, that a new Constitution should be in place by March of this year."
Because of the enormity of the decision to chuck out the draft Constitution, Bainimarama's big spiel earlier this month was more for show than anything else, but there's obviously a lot of effort going into engineering the demise of the political parties and seeing out the process.
Key political parties such as SDL, now renamed the Social Democratic Liberal Party, and the National Federation Party, have started earnest campaigns to enlist members.
We anticipate there will be challenges about the numbers and their authenticity, so there are no guarantees the parties are safe, even if they come through with the required five thousand members spread out in different divisions as stipulated by the decree.
Parties and their officials that do not register or who have applications rejected could well be barred from future registration or political activity or participation entirely.
The regime will not be satisfied with just foiling competition in elections; it wants to totally bury the political landscape prior to 2006 so true to its DNA, it will manufacture other laws to ensure parties or politicians and officials who somehow manage to survive this decree, will be annihilated completely.
It has already given us a hint of what is ahead: its latest 'masterpiece', the pending Code of Conduct, which is being cooked up by the illegal attorney general and supporting judicial boffins, to help continue the illegal reign and legitamise Bainimarama's morph into elected public life.
Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum has said he and Bainimarama's salaries will be revealed in four months time. As bloggers have rightly asked: Why not now? Because it's waiting for the Code of Conduct. Under the guise of making public servants and government ministers accountable, the Code will allow them to create the fallacy of 'opening the books'.
While some on the ground can still quip: "We have to wait and see what is happening because every other day is different. This is Fiji!" never has it been more critical for people to make a stand.
One sure way to thwart the regime is to boycott the Constituent Assembly. It will of course go ahead with its plans but at least we have not bought into the bullshit as we were forced to with the so-called Constitution process.
We have 'tested' Bainimarama as we were challenged to by those who thought they knew better and found our fears were all too real. There is only one way of regaining our integrity and dignity and that is to boycott the regime's plans to legitamise itself.
Editor's Note at 8pm: As expected the former United Peoples Party president, Mick Beddoes, is to apply to join the SDL party. Beddoes, who announced this week UPP has wound up, says he is looking forward to signing up as a registered financial member of the Nadi branch.