Dialogue Fiji has welcomed the announcement by Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka that a Citizens’ Assembly will be convened to discuss the party manifestos, plans and the way forward for the new Fijian government.
Executive Director, Nilesh Lal says presumably, this assembly will constitute individuals, representing various sections of the Fijian society, and will include community leaders, civil society organization leaders, faith-based leaders, private sector, experts, and academics amongst others.
Lal says in Fiji, we lack a rigorous process for evaluation of manifestos.
He adds ideally, there should be internal mechanisms for evaluating manifestos before they are released.
The Dialogue Fiji Director further says such an inclusive body that enables Fijians to input into and influence matters that shape their lives has been sorely missing for a very long time and is highly desirable.
Lal also says the 100 day action plan of the largest party in government contains several decisive changes in policy and approach.
He adds in addition, the announcement by the Finance Minister Professor Biman Prasad that an Economic Summit will be convened is an excellent idea.
Lal says for a developing state like Fiji, economic policy making is of utmost importance.
He says he is sure that the insights that would be provided by various presenters at the proposed economic summit, including economists from diverse ideological dispositions, political scientists, industry experts, CSO leaders, anti-poverty activists, amongst others will be invaluable in formulating sound economic policies and the overall development approach.
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