#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: 'Democracy will not come to Fij until poverty is eliminated'

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

'Democracy will not come to Fij until poverty is eliminated'

A speaker on democracy at the Australian Association for the Advancement of Pacific Studies conference “Oceanic Transformations” over the weekend, said democracy was failing to work in Fiji because citizens were uninformed.

Mosmi Bhim, a Communications and Advocacy Officer at the Citizens’ Constitutional Focrun, said democracy in Fiji, had been top down, with its values and merits understood and advocated by the middle class and the rich but largely ignored by the grassroots whose preoccupation was primarily making ends meet.

Results in past elections in Fiji showed votes were cast in response to emotional appeals by politicians as opposed to criteria of better infrastructure and services and accountability of government.

Bhim said Fiji’s democracy was "disabled due to uninformed citizenry".

She put the lack of widespread protest against coups in the “context of the need for basic services at the grassroots level and its contribution to the mal-functioning of democratic processes in Fiji through a citizenry that is inadequately informed by media or research”.

Bhim added that the lack of good leaders had contributed to this problem, as had the discomfort ordinary citizens had with demanding accountability and transparency from their leaders. She said democracy would not come to Fiji if poverty was not resolved.

The suggestion was made that the links between governance and development as a way of breaking the pattern of coups in Fiji, had to be looked at more closely.

The other speak on democracy in the Pacific, was Alisi Taumoepeau, the former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice in Tonga, who said the people have been promised elections in November this year but no preparations, for example amendments to the electoral law, have been made for the occassion.

Like Fiji, Tonga is still under public emergency regulations, as a result of the Tongan riots in 2007.

Taumoepeau said that “during the uncertainties of this transition period in Tonga, it is important to those who lead and those being led, that the rule of law exists regardless of political structure, content of law or human rights assertion”.

The rule of law, Taumoepeau said, requires that government is accountable and transparent, ensures the independence of judiciary and implements due diligence and good governance, all very essential for a successful constitutional reform.-Source Pacific Media Watch article by Dr Evangelina Papoutsaki.


Anonymous said...

Very true, I for once always thought the general population in particular at grassroots level need to be educated on what democracy is.

Anonymous said...

Thi is the kind of academic rubbish that empowers the regime.
Definition of Fijian poverty is subjective. My elderly Kai Viti inlaws are Village dwellers - grow their own food - have very little in monetary terms - yet they live a happy and contented life - envied by everyone including ourselves. Don't put other cultures values on ours.

Poverty and democracy are connected but not as this academic implies.

Anonymous said...

The writing does not support the regime but discusses the reality on the ground. That is why the masses rose in support of Rabuka and Speight because of their limited understanding of democratic principles. Unless they learn what it is and abide by its principles coups will always be a way of life in the Fijian banana republic.

sara'ssista said...

education is not poverty. Plenty of countries are poor but have thriving and dynamic democracies. Poverty is not preferable nor ideal, but education and ignorance is the key. Not holding acountry to ransom by the gun ang forcing change through threats and intimidation, illegal decree and appointmetns and scrapping the judiciary only to reinvent it with junta appointees as 'independant'.

coup spin crap said...

What a load of crap. As soon as I saw the name I knew it would be another coup apologist trying to rationalise this failed indian supported coup. Perhaps she should join the UN and give advice on climate change as well.

Anonymous said...

Chaudhry's support for coup does not mean Indian support. Many grassroot Indians who supported FLP in 2001 Elections was only to see proof that democracy is genuine thus wanted to ensure its victory to form the govt.

On the other hand they were spreading rumure for their support to win was to also that it could lead to "sacrificing" Chaudhry in their attempt to achieve democracy, which Fiji never got since August 2001.

You morons supported undemocratic govt since 2001 to 2006. And for any govt to go after military, it does not take Indian support as Indians are Lamu Sona in front of the guns.

Only thing Indians enjoy now is less fear when they go to sleep as less crime is happening where they are the target. Everything else they are equally or suffering more now then the days of purported democracy.

Chaudhry is a political "thug" who uses Indian support for his own benefits. So stop blaming Indians for own doings.

Anonymous said...

Suggest those who believes Indians are not the catalyst for events that have occured in Viti since independence take a good look at both history and themselves?

Anonymous said...

History has come back today and confirmed the actions taken in 198were outright wrong. Hear Rabuka speak.

His actions of 1987 is the mindset that is the cause of the -ve mentality as it runs in the bloods of some who cannot get past the facts and blame the Indians.

It was this 1987 coup that potrayed that Indians were rich and Fijians were poor. Hence $20m handed out to the provinces via FHL. Then who betrayed the Fijians when they sneaked in to create 1st and 2nd class shares to steal even that and who were the real winners.

Go figure - Sa Lutu Na Sucu!!

Anonymous said...

Kai Viti thieves?
Amateurs when compared to your Chaudhry.