Ratuva: Future of Fiji’s democracy at stake

Steven Ratuva. Picture: University of Canterbury.

Renowned Fijian academic Professor Steven Ratuva says if the coalition Government is strong, resilient and lasts, “this will reflect well as a future model for coalitions in Fiji”.

“It’s a learning process for a new government and a new democracy and we expect teething problems in the beginning and hopefully we settle down quickly and move on,” the director of the University of Canterbury’s Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies said.

However, he says if it collapses, it will “signal a rather dark future of political instability for the country”.

Prof Ratuva said failure would “send out a negative message to investors, tourists and the rest of the world”.

“Thus it’s imperative to make sure that the coalition works and for this the politicians need to be politically smart, strategic, humble and empathetic in their dealings and approaches with each other for the sake of the country, beyond the narrow political party agenda,” he said.

He was referring to recent claims by SODELPA general secretary Lenaitasi Duru that senior party members were unhappy with the lack of SODELPA appointees to government statutory boards by the coalition Government.

SODELPA leader Viliame Gavoka, however, said the party remained committed to the deal it struck with The People’s Alliance and National Federation Party that resulted in the formation of the coalition Government.

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