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2014 Election, First Genuine General Election In History: PM

It was declared as such by the Multinational Observer Group that oversaw it. Thanks to the strong and independent institutions that managed it. It was the most successful election ever conducted in Fiji at the time
26 Mar 2021 10:38
2014 Election, First Genuine General Election In History: PM
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. Photo: Parliament of Fiji

The 2014 General Election was the first genuine election conducted in Fijian history due to the fact that the Fijian Constitution enshrines true democracy.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama made the statement yesterday while supporting the motion for debate on the review of the 2014 General Election joint report by the Fijian Electoral Commission and the Supervisor of Elections.

He said there were no contentious matters to bring to the attention of the house with regard to the conduct of the 2014 election, adding that the capable implementation of Fiji’s electoral process ensured that the election was free, fair and credible.

“It was declared as such by the Multinational Observer Group that oversaw it. Thanks to the strong and independent institutions that managed it. It was the most successful election ever conducted in Fiji at the time. It was in fact the first genuine general election in Fijian history that is because our Fijian Constitution, which some people don’t seem to accept, our Fijian Constitution enshrines true democracy. Not the pale imitation we suffered as a nation,” he said.

“It guarantees equal votes of equal value without any form of discrimination along the lines of gender, religion or ethnicity. Without those protections Fiji’s past political systems fell short of genuine representation. They were shackled by their backward notions of ethnic supremacy. It was undemocratic, it was unjust. It entrenched class and privilege over a truly representative system.”

Mr Bainimarama said with the 2014 election, the Fijian Government finally ended the old era by delivering a new and true democracy that Fijians have long sought and always deserve.

 

Viliame Gavoka

Meanwhile, in his contribution, SODELPA Leader Viliame Gavoka said when SODELPA comes into power they will make sure that government provides funding to political parties on an equal basis to carry out their work.

He made the remarks while highlighting the decreased interest in politics among Fijians and the low voter turnout in recent elections.

Mr Gavoka said if Fijians are expected to participate and fully engage themselves in politics, funding should be given to parties to operate.

“When we are in government SODELPA will make sure that everyone is treated fairly. We will give a sum of money to FijiFirst, we’ll give a sum of money to NFP and a sum of money to SODELPA. We will treat everyone equally,” Mr Gavoka said.

“The people of Fiji know that change is coming. That a new world is emerging after 2022. They will see democracy being practiced to the highest level that we have ever seen in this country. Change is coming.”

 

FijiFirst money

In response, Mr Bainimarama told Mr Gavoka not to question how FijiFirst uses its funds because it is none of his business.

“He should worry about their money which is stuck because of Rabuka, he knows that everyone in that group knows that. Their internal dispute is the cost of them not having money. He should ask his leader. Honourable Naiqama told the party that he will not give Parliament funds to the party so he should not be talking to us about our money, we know how to spend our money,” Mr Bainimarama said.

He reiterated that it was not right that Mr Gavoka kept bringing up lies in Parliament.

“He keeps harping about the turnout in 2006 was 59 per cent when it really was 64 per cent, I don’t know where he plucked that figure from, but it was the lowest turnout in Fiji election and then again it was a compulsory voting so there you go.”

He told Parliament that the Fijian Elections Office and the SOE have established a standard of fairness, impartiality and transparency that will stand for generations as all Fijians are guaranteed the right to free and fair elections.

Government Whip Alvick Maharaj urged parties to work in collaboration with the SOE to remedy the plunging interest in voting among the Fijian population.

Edited by Selita Rabuku

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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