#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: NZ foreign policy "undermining" Fiji's progress

Monday, April 20, 2009

NZ foreign policy "undermining" Fiji's progress

A senior Waikato University lecturer says the New Zealand government's foreign policy towards Fiji may be undermining that country's progress towards democracy.

Foreign Minister Murray McCully has described the situation in Fiji as unpredictable and volatile. Fiji 's president revoked the constitution and sacked the judiciary after the Court of Appeal ruled the regime in power since a military coup in 2006 was illegal.

However, David Neilson, a member of the Commission of Inquiry into Fiji 's 2006 election, says New Zealand could be doing more to create a robust electoral system for Fiji .

On the Sunday Group, Neilson said there were many technical issues to overcome in order for Fiji to remove "bias and corruption" in its electoral system.

He said New Zealand had a huge amount of expertise which could help Fiji create a robust electoral system.

Radio New Zealand National

2 comments:

  1. There wouldn't be many that dispute Fiji's electoral system isn't ideal. The problem is Neilson on that basis seems to think that coups (also not ideal) are a means of "moving forward".
    I would have thought that by now, he might have realised that by attempting to move forward from this one by legitimising all that has happened so far simply legitimises the coup culture.
    Though I'm sure he protest vigorously, the armchair analysis he and others (one of whom was on the Sunday Group panel) is somewhat offensive. I do not believe his analysis is any more valid than the average Fijian that has to live under this junta's rule. and morally it's far less acceptable.
    You can bleat all you like about NZ and Australia's shortcomings, those of previous governments (in particular Qarase's since it's the most recent), but Messrs Walsh and Neilson - how about actually considering the will of the Fijian people. Surely that is the biggest component in any programme for legitimacy.
    We can argue all you like about concerns about the last election and anomalies - they were actually dealt with, and even given them, margins of error and potential corruption would only have marginally affected the end result.
    Remember when you make the comments you did (such as on the Sunday Group), they are 'academic'. They DON'T reflect the struggles, the trials and tribulations of Fijians' daily lives, NOR their will. Something that, like politicians who've been in power too long often suffer from - i.e. losing touch, seems to kick in.
    I note from the discussion your last visit was 2007 (or was it Walsh's).
    Perhaps if either of both of you want to offer your wisdom and now suspect expertise on the State of Fiji, you might go spend one or two years there - even if it does entail some cosy little number at USP. I'm sure you could both crash on Steven Ratuva's floor for a fee.

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