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Campaigns get to the root of Fijian politics

There appears to be excitement in the air in Fiji with politicians launching their campaign to promote their parties and ideologies to take the reins of the Government after the general election this year.

The commoners and businesses in general, have not expressed their opinions thus far but the popular belief is that incumbent Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama will return to lead the country as the choice of the people.

Open choice

He has been unequivocally spoken about ‘One Nation, One People’ concept, putting in place a Constitution that accords equal rights to all citizens. Having done away with the Council of Chiefs and having run a Government (since December 5, 2006) that has appeased people, he is confident of becoming a democratically elected leader of the all-too-important South Pacific country.

The Government is yet to announce the date of the election, although Mr Bainimarama and Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiym have set September as the month when Fijians will go to the polls.

While Mr Bainimarama has been vociferous in asking people to ‘vote freely’ in an election which he promised would be ‘open and transparent’

First salvo

Marama Bale Na Roko Tui Dreketi Ro Teimumu Kepa, President and Leader of the Social Democratic Liberal Party fired a salvo on March 7 in Suva, taking a swipe at Mr Bainimarama and his Government.

She told the delegates attending the General Assembly of her Party that the formation of the ‘United Front For Democratic Fiji’ was aimed at fostering democracy, truth, rights, rule of law and accountability.

Stating that Fiji was in a crisis, she said, “This crisis has brought us together through the United Front, which is based on a shared determination to defeat the forces of those who stole the last elected government.”

The United Front does not appear to have common approach since its constituent parties will contest the elections fielding their own individual candidates, but “cooperating where possible.”

“My courage will not falter as we move along the hazardous path back to freedom, legitimate constitutional rule and representative democracy. I will be there for you, to speak out for a Fiji free of fear and oppression; a Fiji of respect and compassion, social justice, the rule of law and economic progress that creates the jobs we desperately need,” she said.

Going backward

Mr Bainimarama said that the Social Democrats were dragging everyone backwards by employing the same old fear-mongering tactics of the old Fiji.

“Every political party has the right to develop the manifesto of their choosing, but I have to point out that so much of what this leader says is utter nonsense.”

2. Ro Teimumu


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