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Will It Be A One-Party Govt Or Coalition?

September 11
11:36 2014

Realistically, only FijiFirst has the capacity to win by a clear majority. What kind of government will we have after the September 17 polling?

Will it be a one-party government or a coalition of at least two parties? It will depend on the final outcome of the general election.

But these are the possibilities:

Nemani Delaibatiki

Nemani Delaibatiki

Scenario 1

Let’s say Fiji First wins 25 seats. The remaining 25 are shared by the other political parties. They can form a coalition for the purpose of forcing a hung parliament. If that happens there would be a fresh election.

Another possibility is that one of the minor parties, says with two seats, accepts an offer from Fiji First and decides to go into coalition with it. The new coalition will have 27 seats, with a four-seat majority. If the Speaker is called from the Government side, it reduces the majority to three.

It means three Government members cannot be absent from Parliament at any one time to avoid a vote of no confidence motion.

Scenario 2

If FijiFirst wins 26, other parties combined get 24. That’s too close for comfort for FijiFirst. If the Speaker does not come from the opposition bench, FijiFirst will lose one member of parliament to the Speaker chair, leaving it with a one-seat majority. That means no Government MP can be absent from Parliament.

FijiFirst will have no choice but to look for coalition partners to bolster its numbers and have a comfortable working majority. If none of the opposition parties agrees to coalesce, then it makes life very difficult for FijiFirst. The one or two seat majority will be hard to work with.

Scenario 3

If FijiFirst wins 27 seats, it can breathe a bit easily. There may not be any need to seek a coalition partner. With a four-seat majority, it can pass money bills that will allow the executive arm of Government to function normally.

Scenario 4

The bigger the size of the majority, the safer it is for the winning party. A 30-seat victory would be ideal.

Apart from 1987, when the National Federation Party and the Fiji Labour Party went into coalition and defeated the ruling Alliance Government, this will be the second election when the possibility of coalition is real.

Realistically, FijiFirst looks like the only party that has the capacity to win this election with a clear majority. It’s broad-based inclusive  and non-discriminatory policies have the potential to attract all races.

It’s only credible challenger, SODELPA, with its discriminatory pro-indigenous policies may win traditional and nationalistic iTaukei hearts. Without the Indo-Fijian votes, it will fall short of the numbers required to secure the desired outcome.

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 

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