NEWS

Opposition Parties Chase Youth Voters

ANALYSIS: Young voters are the target as Opposition parties step up their campaigning for next year’s general elections. But some of the tactics being promoted at one of these meetings
01 May 2017 10:55
Opposition Parties Chase Youth Voters
Youth of different races from around the Nadera areas attended the Sodelpa Party’s consultation on April 28th, 2017. Photo: Jone Luvenitoga

ANALYSIS:

Young voters are the target as Opposition parties step up their campaigning for next year’s general elections.

But some of the tactics being promoted at one of these meetings was definitely old style.

The two meetings by the two main Opposition parties, Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) and National Federation Party (NFP), separately held in Suva in recent days targeted the young.

 

SODELPA

SODELPA gathered in Nadera where Youth Leader Jope Koroisavu focused on iTaukei.

This despite talk of SODELPA trying to take a more multiracial approach to attract other voters.

Mr Koroisavu targeted the draft Village By-laws on which there had been widespread consultations in villages throughout the country by the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs.

It is compiling a report and recommendations based on the consultations.

Mr Koroisavu said that youths could not become prosperous if they were kept in a policing environment, in reference to rules which could apply in iTaukei village settings.

He also raised the spectre of the defunct Great Council of Chiefs. Mr Koroisuva said he was a “proud Fijian”.

He said he inherently understood that the Great Council of Chiefs, when it was active, would decide the future of the i-Taukei and what he called fairly select the president.

The so-called Great Council of Chiefs was disestablished and discredited back in the days of the former interim government led by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

The council was seen as a relic of colonial times, had become politicised and was being used by the old “elite” for their own advantage.

It was also at odds with the concept of equal citizenry now enshrined in the Constitution.

 

NFP

Also, last week the National Federation Party held a youth consultation meeting at its Suva office. It took a different approach.

It also now appears SODELPA and the NFP are increasingly distant from each other, with SODELPA taking a more assertive role in Parliament as the dominant Oppositiion party.

NFP leader Biman Prasad said he admired the energy, drive and vision of the youth in doing things for themselves and others.

“Young people need to be concerned about what’s happening in the country, the Parliament, what Government is saying and what Opposition is saying,” he said.

 

ELECTIONS

The 2018 elections are still far away; but there are two takeaways already from the flurry of recent activities.

The two main Opposition parties are trying to be better organised than they were in 2014 as they individually tried to unseat the well organised and successful FijiFirst Government led by Mr Bainimarama.

It is also seems clear that targeting young voters is going to feature more in their plans this time.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback:  losirene.lacanivalu@fijisun.com.fj

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