Monday, October 01, 2007

Nationalists not happy with electoral reforms

Last updated 10/1/2007 9:35:11 AM
A nationalist party revealed that it will not support electoral reforms whereby individuals will only be given the right to vote for one candidate
Nationalist Vanua Tako Lavo party president, Viliame Savu said if the concept was introduced, the position of indigenous people as inhabitants of the land would have less significance.
“The indigenous people should be careful as this kind of electoral reforms could be the beginning where our resources are easily taken from us,” said Mr Savu.
He made the comment in reaction to the interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama statement address to the 62nd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Friday.
Commodore Bainimarama stated Fiji would be looking at making the necessary legal changes in the area of electoral reforms to ensure true equality at the polls
“At present, all citizens have the right to vote for two candidates, one for a national seat of any ethnicity, and another from a communal raced based seat. This in turn kept our races apart,” said Commodore Bainimarama.
Mr Savu said the indigenous Fijians would have to be cautious of how government intends to draw up the new electoral boundaries.
“It would be good if they had drawn up the new boundaries to be the same as that of the provinces,” said Savu.
He said if the interim government was going to draw up other new boundaries, it would be hard for the indigenous people to accept it.
“We are looking at this new electoral reform as a way in which the indigenous people will be deprived from what they have owned,” he said.
Mr Savu said the party would be monitoring lobbying and proposals to change the electoral reforms.

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