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Baba: It’s now or never

June 5, 2014

WHY IS THIS ELECTION SO CRUCIAL?
TUPENI BABA SODELPA PARTY

“This means that if there were to be any orders given to rig the elections, those Elections Office staff found to be involved, would not be brought to court. This ridiculous provision, in any way, will encourage those who may be thinking about such ideas to actually attempt them.”

All elections are important but in our view, this is the most important of all elections since our independence in 1970.We say that because if we do not get this right, our chances of getting democracy back the way we have known it in the past, is remote. These are some of the reasons we should take into consideration as we approach this election.

First, in all the elections since 1972 which was the first general elections after independence, we all took for granted that the outcomes would be a democracy irrespective of which Party would win even though there were some issues raised about the method of representation, which were then raised and addressed democratically by the representatives of the people.

Second, this election is not being conducted independently by a Caretaker Administration as it has been the practice, following a long period of dictatorship.

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At two times in our history we have had dictatorships following military coups; one by headed by Major General Rabuka and another by Commodore (now Rear Admiral) Voreqe Bainimarama, and both of these men had imposed their own Constitutions on the people which were to be followed in consequent elections.

Under the Rabuka Military Constitution of 1990 the actual elections conducted under it was managed independently by a Caretaker Administration sworn in by the President, Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau.

The current Regime on the other hand, has not accepted the idea of a Caretaker Administration and that was one of the main reasons for the scrapping of the Yash Ghai’s Constitutional Draft, which provided specifically for this.

Third, the Electoral Decree (Decree 11, 2014) under the current Regime provides immunity provisions for the Election Commission, Supervisor for Election and members of staff of the Elections Office from any criminal and civil proceedings for any act or matter done or omitted which are carried out under the relevant provisions of this decree (section 3, Decree11, 2014) in relation to the general elections.

This means that if there were to be any orders given to rig the elections, those Elections Office staff found to be involved, would not be brought to court. This ridiculous provision, in any way, will encourage those who may be thinking about such ideas to actually attempt them.

source – c4.5; posted by Rusi Varani for SWM
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