As Election looms, democracy ripens in Fiji

People of Fiji are beginning to evince more interest in the ensuing general election as days roll, there is increasing certainty that the polling day would be sometime in November.

No one is however making any guesses as to the outcome.

While followers of the FijiFirst Party believe that Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama will return, albeit perhaps with a decreased majority, parties in the opposition camp seem to be too weak to be formidable.

Political equity

Incessant to sanctions and ultimatums to restore parliamentary democracy from the developed world including his powerful neighbours Australia and New Zealand, Mr Bainimarama and his Government have worked over the past twelve years to make Fiji a more inclusive polity and economy. They have given the country a new Constitution, which promises the long-cherished political and economic equity, making all Fijians eligible for equal treatment.

Australian government has expressed its satisfaction that Election 2018 would be free and fair, based on the experience of the 2014 exercise. New Zealand has expressed its view on similar lines, while India, the largest democracy in the world, has been the only country that has continuously stood by Fiji, offering its support and assistance. While Delhi has desired Fiji to follow democratic ideals, it has always respected the country’s right to choose its own form of Government through its own processes.

No Template

There is no template for democracy as the concept and practice differ between countries. That said, Fijians in Fiji and elsewhere with the eligibility to vote, must exercise their franchise in the coming election, which would steer the country towards calmer seas and progressive future.

 

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