How Would You Read This? No Elections in 2014

In a Sydney Morning Herald article Fiji tight-lipped over torture claims  by Tamara McLean, AAP South Pacific Correspondent, wrote this:

I quote: “Fiji's military government is tight-lipped on accusations of torture in its barracks and claims it has no plans to hold democratic elections as promised.”
I quote: “He (Ratu Tevita)  said democratic elections in 2014, which both Australia and New Zealand have been pushing for, were "very unlikely" to happen and even if they do only a select few political parties will be allowed to stand.”
Who said elections would not be heldThe Fiji government, as in the first quote, that has “no plans” to hold elections?  Or Ratu Tevita, who thinks they are “unlikely”,  as in the second?  
Readers could well think it was government, which it was not.  And since when have  “Australia and New Zealand been “pushing for elections …in 2014”?  They have always called for elections before 2014.    
I’d like to think Tamara was in a hurry and did not check her story, but there have been so many similar inaccurate and misleading reports on Fiji  lately that I have to wonder.


Anonymous said…
Good point Croz but it is reasonable to expect there will be no elections in 2014. Based on the 1) past experience with the PM's promises, 2) the fact that no preparations have started (and they intend to make none until next year), 3) the PER makes it impossible for any parties to prepare for a election and 4) there is no incentive for the PM to have a election - life is as good as it gets for him now.

The other alternative is that there will be a election of some sort in 2014 but due to restrictions on who can run and the role of the military and police (both controlled by the PM) ensure it is nothing more than a sham to elect Frank.
Lesley said…
Torture claims - I read that the surfing guy Tim McBride and Ratu Tevita's have been treated in the proper manner :"Family members being questioned say they are not mistreated by the Criminal Investigation Department even though the interrogation lasts from 9am until late at night. They say they are given food and water and have been allowed to take breaks." Coup 4.5
Why does overseas MSM continue to make up stories? It gets lots of people all hyped up for no good reason.
Croz Walsh said…
@ Anonymous ... It may be reasonable for you and others to say there will be no elections in 2014, but it is not reasonable for a newspaper to say the Fiji government said there will be no elections, when it did not.

I would also like to see earlier dialogue on the elections but the 2009 Roadmap scheduled this for next year so we should not take the absence of preparations as a sign that there will be no elections in 2014. I would also like to see PER lifted, in whole or in part, but the current barrage of untrue and misleading information spead by blogs such as Coup4.5,and pased on by Ratu Tevita and the media, unfortunately make this unlikely for the time being.

I am sure you are right that restrictions will be placed on the 2014 elections. For individual standing for elections I think they will have to have no crimimal record and, if elected, swear to uphold the Constitution. For political parties, I would see them having to agree to respect the People's Charter, whose pillars by that time will probably be in the Constitution, and be transparently non-racial in every respect.
Scott said…
At least 3 parties which have previously contested elections in Fiji are preparing for a future election, maybe even in 2014. Preparations include sending officials to Australia to attend courses run at ANU on election campaigning and other matters. So the 'definitely no elections' camp would seem to be being undercut by the actions of some party officials from Fiji and Australia. If the elections are expected to be a sham, there would seem to be little point in the parties' behaviour either.
Anonymous said…
@ Croz,

to the best of my knowledge now one as ever seen the actual roadmap. Even the MSG who claim to endorse it did not see it other than a few dates and promises of reforms. The reason is - no such magical document exists.
Anonymous said…
No individuals with criminal records to be able to stand in elections seems like a pretty reasonable criteria to me. It is widely known that is why Frank was keen to make charges stick against the likes of Ratu Saki and Imrana (future threats) and SLD, FLP leaders (past threats). Luckily it seems courts are actually working.

The same no criminals rule should be applied to the military and police. But here lies a problem for Frank who has already set the standard by allowing his brother in law (guilty man slaughter) remain in charge of the navy.

Frank is going to have to shift from his everything for my friends and supports and the law for everyone else stance. Maybe the charging of Mara and Driti was a first step...or maybe they just pissed him off.
pasifika said…
One thing is certain. This government will not allow to be elected the kind of people - i.e supporters of coup 4.5- who will dismantle the policies, reforms, infrastructure that they have put in place and will have put in place by 2014. They are playing for keeps not for fun.Consider the latest policies on the education of children in isolated villages, would a dictator like Gadafi with which the PM is being compared by bufoons on coup 4.5 consider such humanitarian ideas ? And no way would this government allow such ideas to be ignored by the next democratically elected government. If children are still walking for miles to schools and having to live in hostels from the age of five/six, sanitary conditions in villages need to be upgraded for that sector of the electorate whose votes are so valuable for urban based political manipulators why have elections in 2014 ? Oh yes to satisfy Australia and New Zealand ( not so much the US and China) off course. Should not elections be on our terms, not theirs ? It is most likely that this government is preparing its own team - not all military - to contest the next elections and so they should.
Anonymous said…
Democracy has been tried and tested and it failed. There is no guarantee it will succeed and the only alternative is to restore chiefly rule - they are the wise people who know how to rule with the club. This is what people of Fiji need and deserve. Restore all the benefits to the chiefs and let the commoners live, as in the past working in the teitei or building the bure ni kalou. It is good that none of them are well educated and it will mean that they can use their natural instincts to rule as they like.
With club in hand Indo-Fijians will abide or the Army be disbanded and their guns be given to the chiefs, which they can use more effectively then the clubs in enforcing law and order. Instead of beating the lali for attention, firing a gun in the air will draw rapid response and compliance. Worth trying because democracy is now a dead horse that has done more harm then good for Fiji. It will be cheaper too because there will not be a need for large bureacracy, police force or the army. But build more churches and convert existing schools into churches because this is where future of our people lies. God Bless the Chiefs and Fiji!

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