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35+ years of activism & feminism in Fiji

Published

03 April 2023

Author

Fiji Women's Rights Movement

Themes

NGOCHR Calls for the Immediate Halt of Fearmongering and for All Parties to Join in Nation Building

NGOCHR Calls for the Immediate Halt of Fearmongering and for All Parties to Join in Nation Building  

6/01/2023

The NGO Coalition on Human Rights (NGOCHR) has called for the immediate ceasing of the rhetoric and politics of fear in this immediate post-election period as the country moves into settling into the new year with a new Coalition Government at the helm. 

The Coalition emphasises that this is a time for political parties to focus on jointly rebuilding and constructively helping all Fijians move towards a Fiji that is genuinely free, respects human rights and practises the principles of a true and genuine democracy.

The Coalition finds the recent statements in the past few days by the Leader of the Opposition in particular, have been unsettling, without evidence, irresponsible and reckless. To outline that there have been a lot of complaints, without identifying these, and then asking in the same breath for Fijians to send to them their complaints, is irresponsible and reckless, that continues to creates a climate of fear. 

While the Coalition encourages the calling out of the State in their governance, we are also equally adamant that there is no deliberate encouragement of untrue calls and actions that threaten our post-election transition, and the development and progression out of 16 years of governance led by one man, Frank Bainimarama.

This is a fragile and new beginning for us a nation after the 2006 coup and its consequences, and it does not at all help our democratic progression and governance when there are deliberate and irresponsible actions and words that are aimed at sparking off disunity, dissent and unlawfulness. We already have a history of that, and we do not want to be taken back to a climate of fear and a loss and restriction of our freedoms.

The Coalition states that the past few months have already been an enormous and draining time for Fijian citizens as they experienced the political party campaigns, exercised their right to vote, awaited the results, and awaited the formation of the new Government in what has been a tense, and hotly contested political atmosphere.

Fijians overwhelmingly voted for a change, and this is what we must respect, and allow changes with in lawful means in the next four years. And that we all have the power to do in 2026 when a general election is held.

The Coalition congratulates the Coalition Government for taking office and for promising to be inclusive and to consult all Fijians on the important progression and policy changes of the new Government. This also includes the creation of a Great Peoples Assembly. We ask the Coalition Government to set aside individual political party and individual preference, and put at the centre, the genuine well-being of all Fijians, in particular the special needs of women and girls, persons with disabilities, those living in rural and remote locations and the poor and disadvantaged.

This is the moment where we all must march together as one!

Ends