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FijiFirst Retaining Support: Analysis

FijiFirst retains the support of majority Fijians as Fiji prepares for election in 2018, says English research firm BMI Research. In BMI Research’s political risk analysis – Politicking to Intensify
28 Jul 2017 11:00
FijiFirst Retaining Support: Analysis
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FijiFirst retains the support of majority Fijians as Fiji prepares for election in 2018, says English research firm BMI Research.

In BMI Research’s political risk analysis – Politicking to Intensify in Lead-up to 2018 election – it noted that despite former FijiFirst Infrastructure Minister Pio Tikoduadua’s decision to join Opposition’s National Federation Party, the “Opposition parties are yet to find their footing against FijiFirst.”

“We believe that the Government’s position remains secure for now, with Fiji still being largely dominated by personalities instead of political parties. Prime Minister Frank (Voreqe) Bainimarama remains largely popular among the indigenous Fijians, who account for approximately 60 per cent of the population.”

BMI Research provides macroeconomic, industry and financial market analysis, covering 24 industries and 200 global markets. It was founded in 1984 as Business Monitor International. In 2014

it was acquired by Fitch Group which is majority owned by Hearst.

For more than 30 years, BMI Research forecasts, data and analyses have been used by multinationals, governments and financial institutions to guide critical strategic, tactical and investment decisions.

Clients include a majority of Global Fortune 500 companies. It has offices in London, New York, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, South Africa and Japan.

BMI Research said although Mr Tikoduadua had resigned from Government claiming his failing health, Mr Bainimarama had since confirmed that he was fired.

It said: “Various political parties have started jostling for position ahead of Fiji’s parliamentary elections in 2018 and we expect the politicking to intensify as the elections draw near.

“We believe that the performance of the ruling party will largely depend on their continued rebuilding efforts following the devastation wrecked by Cyclone Winston in 2016.

“Despite Tikoduadua’s defection, recent moves suggest that the Opposition is still finding its footing as it seeks to come up with a coherent platform against the Government. Indeed, Tikoduadua’s joining of the NFP was accompanied by the resignation of NFP president, Tupou Draunidalo, who has moved to form a new proposed party.

“The new proposed party, HOPE, is in the process of seeking registration and joins a crowded field of parties that are struggling to differentiate themselves.

“While Tikoduadua has a support base in the Tailevu province where he hails from, it is uncertain as to whether his influence spreads beyond that province. Similarly, SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka has considerable influence in the north Cakaudrove province, but it might be difficult to extend such gains across the rest of the country.

“While it is possible that support for local personalities could lead to a slight reduction in support for the ruling party, we believe that the election outcome will be largely determined by the effectiveness of the government’s rebuilding efforts following the destruction wreaked by Cyclones Winston and Zena in 2016.

“Government rebuilding efforts have been making headway, but the sheer scale of the destruction means that there are still people living in tents and children attending tent schools.”

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj


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