NATION

One Big Opposition Party A Pie In The Sky

The proposed Unity Fiji Party is experiencing difficulties collecting signatures, it is understood. It’s first hand experience confirms the findings of its own analysis that proposed new parties face huge
31 May 2017 13:50
One Big Opposition Party A Pie In The Sky
Adi Sivia Qori and Savenaca Narube

The proposed Unity Fiji Party is experiencing difficulties collecting signatures, it is understood.

It’s first hand experience confirms the findings of its own analysis that proposed new parties face huge challenges to register.

Even the proposed HOPE Party, which started its signature drive much earlier, is struggling to reach the required 5000 target.

For proposed Unity Fiji, it is understood many are reluctant or refusing to sign for a number of reasons:

ν The voters are unsure what the proposed party represents and therefore are wary to commit their names. They cannot comprehend the party vision and the various concepts under it.

The party will need to deconstruct  these ideologies and simplify them for the ordinary people to understand. There is a perception that this is an elitist group because it is a gathering of only professionals and intellectuals.

Proposed party pioneers Consultant Adi Sivia Qoro and a former Reserve Bank of Fiji governor Savenaca Narube must convince the voters that it is a proposed party for all people. They are looking at it as an alternative government in a two-party system.

ν Voters who are registered with other parties would need to resign from them before they can register with the proposed Unity Fiji. This is a scary prospect for some, especially the superstitious voters.

The proposed HOPE Party faces the same predicament.

They are racing against time because they are restricted in what they can do unless they are a registered party.

Initial analysis by the Adi Sivia Qoro- Savenaca Narube group indicate that new proposed parties will face difficulties registering.

It is understood that Unity Fiji is looking beyond 2018 realising that its ideologies will take time to find traction.

The only way to overcome this is form just one opposition party against FijiFirst, as suggested by proposed Unity Fiji.

The one constituency electorate, the 5000 signatures, the five per cent threshold for votes and votes that are  non-transferrable make it very difficult for small parties to survive long term.

Already we have seen the demise of One Fiji Party.

Based on their financial positions, Fiji United Freedom Party could be the next to follow One Fiji.

Hot on their heels are People’s Democratic Party and Fiji Labour Party.

They should have been just one party but personal differences and egos have kept them separate and weak.

SODELPA and the National Federation Party (NFP) offer the best options in the Opposition.

Can proposed Unity Fiji come in and unite everyone under one banner, as its name suggests? It’s a seemingly impossible mission because of the practical difficulties linked to their differences. Some of the parties, like the NFP, are steeped in history.

So Unity Fiji’s dream of one big Opposition party,  is very much a pie in the sky.

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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