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#Vote2018: Tabuya’s Confused Message to Young Voters

#Vote2018: Tabuya’s Confused Message to Young Voters
SODELPA provisional candidate Lynda Tabuya. Photo: Ronald Kumar.
April 01
11:54 2018

While advocating for youths to vote in the 2018 General Election, SODELPA provisional candidate Lynda Tabuya in the same breath blamed their lack of interest to vote in the last election to watching television.

In a statement released on the eve of Good Friday, Ms Tabuya said:

We need the youth voices now more than ever before. In the past, youths have not turned up to vote in large numbers. In the 2014 General  Election a lot of youths didn’t vote because Harry Potter was on TV

It’s true that some youths might have no interest in taking part in this national obligation. That’s why the Fijian Elections Office and all registered political parties are urging voters 18 years and above to register to be able to vote. It’s an opportunity for young people to participate in the political process.

It also empowers them to decide who they want to govern the country after the election.

But for provisional candidate Ms Tabuya to say that most youths did not vote because Harry Potter was on TV is out of touch, to say the least.

To redeem herself though, she called on young people to fight for their future and make their vote count.

“It starts with taking your birth certificate and one other ID to a voter services centre,” Ms Tabuya said.

“The buck stops with you. The moment you realise that your single vote has the power to change your life, is the moment you will become the change you want to see in the world.”

Like the 2014 General Election, young people will help decide which party they want to help run this country when they go to the poll.

The National Federation Party has tried to positioned itself to capture the youth vote. During the announcement of their second batch of provisional candidates, at least three young faces stood out.

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  • Apenisa Vatuniveivuke is a law and politics student and a youth advocate.

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  • Leslie Tikotikoca is a youth worker, social worker and advocate for the Fiji Disabaled People’s Federation.

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  • Savneel Sangeet is a former schoolteacher and child rights advocate.

SODELPA Youth Wing president,  Jope Koroisavou

  • SODELPA had announced its Youth Wing president, 32-year-old Jope Koroisavou as a provisional candidate. Mr Koroisavou has experience in disaster management operational theatre. He also has a military background.

But, whether we will see more youth candidates in the final candidate lists for all political parties remains to be seen.

Perhaps getting young people to stand instead of just pushing out manifesto promises about youth development and youth empowerment is the way forward.

Young people need to become active in the democratic process.

Register to vote, read about the different parties in order to make an informed decision.

Don’t let Ms Tabuya catch you watching Black Panther this election year.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback:  rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj

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