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35+ years of activism & feminism in Fiji

Published

06 November 2018

Author

Fiji Women's Rights Movement

Themes

NGOCHR: Free and Fair Elections

NGOCHR Press Release: Free and Fair Elections

6/11/2018

The NGO Coalition for Human Rights (Coalition) affirms its view that holding free and fair elections shall reflect the will of the Fijian people.

"Elections play a crucial role in building a more stable parliamentary democracy. We need to draw lessons from the 2014 elections and have even greater transparency. This is our second election since the 2006 coup and since then through elections there has been progression towards restoration of our democratic institutions and practices,” says Coalition Chair, Nalini Singh.

“A free and fair election is an opportunity for Fiji citizens to not only exercise their right to vote but to exercise other civil liberties such as freedoms of speech, association and assembly. Our upcoming elections has already fostered greater political participation, in the 2014 elections there were 44 women candidates participating however this has increased to 56 women candidates. There is also been an increase in political parties since the 2014 elections with the registration of two new parties. With increased representation in the Fiji’s political spectrum, there is greater confidence in our democracy. Furthermore since the announcement of the 2018 elections, political debate and public dialogue has also increased and should be encouraged but without personal attacks and maligning,” Singh continued.

“Fijians should be able to make a free decision when casting their vote. A country cannot be truly democratic until its citizens have the opportunity to choose their representatives through elections that are free and fair. Elections will also allow for peaceful, democratic political transitions. This is vital in building longevity for our fragile parliamentary democracy,” Singh continued.

The Coalition notes efforts by the Fiji Elections Office in dissemination of information for voters from all backgrounds and promoting awareness for the 2018 elections. It is now time for all Fijians to act on the fundamental civic right to vote.

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