Why no elections in Fiji

July 27th, 2009 at 7:26 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

’s military ruler says the Prime Minister he ousted in a coup three years ago, Laisenia Qarase, would be returned to power if democratic elections were held tomorrow.

Yet apologists for the coup insist the Commodre is massively popular. I’m no fan of the former PM, but you know refusing to hold elections until people will vote for someone else is not exactly the most principled reason.

I wonder what excuse will be found in 2014 to delay elections again.

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14 Responses to “Why no elections in Fiji”

  1. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,903 comments) says:

    David you provide only one half of the story. The REASON the crooked corrupt skimmer would be voted back in is the gerrymandered voting system which essentially disenfranchises a large chunk of the populace. Have you been taking spin lessons from The Standard?

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  2. David Farrar (1,899 comments) says:

    I knew Adolf would respond :-)

    It does not take eight years to fix a voting system. In fact the Commodore is not going to even start work on it for another three years. I hope he does bring in a non-racial constitution and then hold elections under it. But he shows no signs of doing so.

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  3. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    And almost entirely NO mention of church leaders being rounded up in the dead of night and taken away for illegal detention and questioning.

    I understand your reasoning for supporting the coups Adolf and as you know I never agreed with any of them from the moment it became clear that Banarama was going to keep power for himself. At some point you are going to have to accept that he has moved beyond even your limits of a “good result”.

    Any thoughts on when the point is likely to be?

    [DPF: I'd be interested in this also. If for example he reneges on 2014 elections, would you then concede he is acting in bad faith?]

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  4. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,903 comments) says:

    I’d be more interested in knowing why neither Clark’s administration nor the current one has asked the simple question “What can we do and how can we help bring about proper elections sooner than 2014?

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  5. Dave Mann (1,224 comments) says:

    If anyone is interested in Fiji and the shithole that this poor country has become since ‘Independence’, then have a read of this, particularly the most recent entries on the speeches of Dr Brij Lan and Graham Leung:

    http://fijiuncensored.wordpress.com/

    The accountants conference was bloody well cancelled by the police, simply because three particular speakers were booked. The government doesn’t like their views, so they just cancelled the Accountants’ Society’s ‘permit’ to hold a conference! Imagine the police here cancelling a similar event! Or, for that matter, arresting most of our church leaders (not that I am at all religious… just saying).

    Brij Lal’s speech notes particularly are erudite and educational reading. Dr Lal, Graham Leung and Richard Naidu are not blog-fuelled fanatics and narcissistic loony fringe dwellers; they are all highly successful and respected academics and businessmen and if you read their speeches you will see just what a crap pit this once forward thinking leader of the South Pacific has become.

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  6. hubris (208 comments) says:

    Where’s Fiji?

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  7. MT_Tinman (3,205 comments) says:

    I have yet to speak to anyone who has experience in Fiji and has been on the ground there who does not support Bainimarama.

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  8. Brian Marshall (202 comments) says:

    David, I agree with what Adolf has said, but do recognise your counter arguement. It shouldn’t take as long as it has to get a new, fairer system up and working.
    We should be going over there and helping our pacific neighbours, asking what we can do to help, rather than just telling them what we think they should do.

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  9. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    No Adolf that is not an answer.

    We’re not talking about Clark or Labour, we’re talking about a coups in Fiji that we have vocally supported. I want to know what it will take for this coups to lose your support. what crime has to be commited before you will stop saying it’s all good?

    Use a straw man on someone else, answer the question asked, not one you made up to avoid it.

    MT_Tinman that same could be said of the lection in Iraq when Sadam got 100% of the vote. You’re observation is without relevance to ligitimacy questions.

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  10. MT_Tinman (3,205 comments) says:

    Murray (3670) Vote: Add rating 1 Subtract rating 0 Says:
    July 27th, 2009 at 11:46 am

    MT_Tinman that same could be said of the lection in Iraq when Sadam got 100% of the vote. You’re observation is without relevance to ligitimacy questions.

    Murray I agree and make no comment on legitimacy.

    I merely report on conversations held with travelers (mainly business people) I have talked with.

    My comment is to illustrate that, whether legitimate or not , the coup and subsequent actions by Bainimarama are seen by those close to the action as necessary and mainly correct.

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  11. tvb (4,432 comments) says:

    Fiji is our Pakistan with Governments alternating between military Governments and corrupt civilian Governments All the coups are relatively bloodless. All they need is nuclear weapons.

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  12. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    It may be true in your experience Tinman but I’m aware of a lot of people who are too afraid to say anything else. My commparing it to Iraq was not an accident.

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  13. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Poor old Fiji. Run by a bunch of military thugs,

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  14. Dave Mann (1,224 comments) says:

    Well…. yes…. Poor Old Fiji. But not solely because it is run by a bunch of military thugs. Its more like tvb says above “alternating between military Governments and corrupt civilian Governments “.

    Perhaps tribalist societies are just not capable of being ‘civil’ societies. The ethnic fijiians had it all on a silver platter when they became independent and they just pissed all over it, crapped on it and left it broken. This process was aided by a racist ethnocentric constitution and a political system which did its best to alienate and marginalise the Indian talent and professional base. It is no wonder that their descendents fled in droves to far flung pastures all over the Pacific where education and hard work are valued and rewarded. Given that the Fijiians have all the guns, the armed forces and a history of vicious inter-tribal warfare to draw upon, they were wise not to have stood up and fought otherwise there would have been a bloodbath. Flight was the wisest option.

    The Fiji islands have simply reverted to primativism after a brief interlude of civilisation which unfortunately didn’t fully take root. I feel sorry for the poor indian families who are left behind; the less educated or less well-connected ones who have little hope of escape. For them the future is bleak and their plight is desperate.

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