Venkat Raman –
Josiah Voreqe Bainimarama continues to be the most-preferred Prime Minister of Fiji according to the latest Tebbutt-Times Poll.
The Poll, conducted by Tebbutt Research for Fiji Times included a sample survey of 982 adults who were above 18 years of age between February 4 and February 7, 2017. It accounted for people of all ages, ethnicity, gender and geographic divisions in Fiji.
The Sample Survey asked, “If an election is held in Fiji tomorrow, who would you prefer to see succeed as the Prime Minister?”
Still a majority
A Survey Report said that he leads by a significant margin over Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) Leader Sitiveni Rabuka and National Federation Party (NFP) Leader Dr Biman Prasad.
The latest Poll shows a drop in the rating for Mr Bainimarama since September 6, 2014 (eight days before the general election), when he had 49% approval.
In August 2014, the Tebbutt-Times Poll, involving 1004 adults aged 18 years and above had recorded 82% support for the post of Prime Minister.
The Survey said that Mr Rabuka was the second choice with 11% preference.
Professor Prasad trailed with just 1% support.
Writing in Fiji Times issue dated February 19, 2017, Reporter Nasik Swami said that SODELPA and NFP leaders were optimistic about Fijians wanting a change of government in the next general election due in 2018.
“Despite the Tebbutt-Times Poll revealing that Mr Bainimarama remained the top choice for Prime Minister ‘if a general election is held tomorrow,’ Mr Rabuka believes that Fijians were still looking for a change in the country’s leadership. He said that he was humbled by the 11% preference that the Fijian people gave him through the Opinion Poll,” Mr Swami said.
Mr Rabuka said that 11% preference was humbling since people thought that he was worthy of consideration, 19 years after he left his political career.
Change of Opinion
Mr Rabuka said that 36% of Fijians were undecided about the next Prime Minister. “This gives hope to other political leaders that Mr Bainimarama was not the only leader in the race. People are still looking for and actually want a change in leadership, giving SODELPA and other opposition political parties the hope that after a very high profile leadership run of 11 years, Bainimarama has not been able to convince them that he is the Prime Minister they need,” he said.
Fiji Times quoted Mr Prasad as saying that Polls were important but in the current context it was a minor issue compared to what he had set out for NFP to do, culminating in the general election next year.
“Despite the fact that the results are not similar to the approval ratings each leader received, it is interesting to know that a significant percentage of voters are undecided, at least 15 months away from when the next elections could be held,” he said.
Professor Prasad said that he would continue to articulate the views, concerns and grievances of all people of Fiji, on issues such as rising unemployment and cost of living, deteriorating public health system and infrastructure, the plight of victims of Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston and flash floods, and lack of good governance, transparency and accountability.
“I will highlight fundamental flaws in our laws, particularly the Electoral Act, Political Parties Act, the Media Industry Development Act and the 2013 Constitution in the hope that they are changed because they do not provide a platform to have a genuinely credible, free and fair elections,” Professor Prasad said.
- Josiah Voreqe Bainimarama
- Professor Biman Prasad with Sitiveni Rabuka (Picture Courtesy: newswire.com.fj)