Issue 404, November 15, 2018
As we went to press, a day later in fact to accommodate the results of the General Election in Fiji held on November 14, 2018, counting was still at hand, with polling suspended at 26 polling stations (accounting for 7800 voters) because of heavy rains.
FijiFirst and its Leader Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama was in the lead but the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) and the National Federation Party have registered a better performance, or so it seems, looking at the provisional results.
This in itself should prove that the electoral process has been free, fair and transparent.
But the slow pace of announcement of election results and the less than expected turnout (about 61% compared to 84% in 2014) has made the developments nail-biting. We believe that we may be able to announce the final tally online before this print edition hits the stands.
Fiji has completed its democratic process and international observers, including those from Australia and New Zealand are in Suva as observers. Except for the media blackout that was in force over the closing days, the election has proved that the people of Fiji were determined to install a government that would have a majority.
It now remains to be seen if Fijians have voted for political stability to avoid further coups.
Fiji First, the Party founded by Mr Bainimarama has thus far done well but it is too early to predict victory. His new Constitution, with its ‘One-Citizen, One Vote’ philosophy and his penchant to end inequality among the people of the country were factors that have been the hallmarks of this Election.
In choosing their Government, the people of Fiji would have hopefully determined what is best in their interest and how they can move forward, facing a number of economic and social challenges. A stable administration will certainly help.