A clash of heavy weights for Fiji’s election

PM Bainimarama meets Rabuka at Drekeniwai (Pic-Fiji Sun)

All Fijians will go to polls this year around September to vote for their representatives in Parliament, a major event that is already gaining interest from mainstream media around the region and the world.

Returning for my second year at Uni and attending our first briefing conducted by the Vanuatu’s High Commission at Laucala Campus, Suva, one of the very first highlights addressed was Fiji’s upcoming election. And that is to stay away from any involvement in politics here in Fiji, especially as a regional student.

This piece is a general personal opinion at Fiji’s politics heating up in the lead up to the General election. It has nothing to do with promoting or accusing any political party or political leader.

The Fiji Sun News Paper reports that Republic of Fiji Military Forces Commander Rear Admiral Viliame Naupoto has reminded his officers at the Sukanaivalu Barracks in Labasa to be prepared for two major events this year. The two events are the 2018 General Election and the 40th anniversary of Fiji’s participation in the UN peace keeping mission.

Fiji is a country totally different to its Melanesian brothers. History reveals that Solomon Islands and Vanuatu has inherited some of the Polynesians races when they migrated years ago. But for Fiji it has more than that, they have the Polynesians, Micronesians, Rotumans, and even the Indo-Fijians who are all now treated and respected as only one (Fijians).

It is a country full of many histories when it comes to races and has had a number of Constitutional crises and a number of Constitutions coinciding with a number of coups has happened when it comes to politics. The country is currently operating under the 2013 Constitution which the government perceived as part of the long term solution to Fiji’s protracted political crises and instability.

Mainstream media around Fiji are already reporting on different candidates.

The Fiji Sun has described Fiji’s Current Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum — both contesting under the ‘Fiji First Party’ as a ‘dynamic duo’.

It will be the second election since Mr Bainimarama won a landslide victory at the polls in 2014, the first since he seized power in a coup in 2006.

Another political leader who has captured a lot of media attention is the Social Democratic Party Liberal Party of Fiji (SODELPA) headed by former Prime Minister of Fiji, Sitiveni L Rabuka.

“Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) Party Leader, former Prime Minister, Sitiveni L Rabuka said today that a SODELPA Government will remove the tertiary loan scheme operated by the Tertiary Scholarships and Loans Board established by the Bainimarama Government, convert existing loans to scholarships, and offer scholarships to all tertiary students who wish to study. He said this would be an extension free education to tertiary institutions,” the SODELPA reported on its blog.

The Sun newspaper described Sitiveni Rabuka going head to head with Voreqe Bainimarama in the 2018 again as a “star heavyweight billing”.

Bainimarama again declared his bold stand to always promote fairness for all Fijians despite ethnicity, provincialism, economic status or religion.

Fiji is way ahead in terms of development and already the current government has met with the Indian government during the recent World Sustainable Development Summit to seek assistance from the Indian government on Railway infrastructure. That is to provide transport for everyday passengers.

As the Fiji election is approaching it will be a good experience to see how the elections are conducted and who will be their new government.

Again it will be up to the people of Fiji to choose their next leaders in their national Parliament. Democracy is a big word but again it will be up to the people to decide a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

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