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Fijians will be tested in the upcoming general election, says President Major General (Ret’d) Jioji Konrote.
While opening the Parliament 2017-2018, the Head of State said as mandated by the Constitution, the general election will be held between April and November 2018.
Konrote said Fijians will be and should be challenged to contest this election on the basis of policies and principles — and truth.
“Although it may be tempting in the heat of an election, we will be tested not to descend into demagoguery, race-baiting, ethnic profiling diminished dignity and lies. This, I urge you most earnestly: “This election must be contested over policies, over the future, not ethnicity, religion or geography.”
Elections, he said, are an integral element of democratic governance.
“But it is a sad truth that the elections are used to extenuate political differences. Each party will try to distinguish itself from the others. But after the election, we must come together to govern.”
With these words of advice, Konrote also applauded the Fijian Elections Office and its officials for conducting the 2014 general elections in a fair manner.
“Our 2014 election was well-run and eminently credible by international standards.
“Our Electoral Commission is busy preparing for the upcoming elections, and the leadership and staff there have done an excellent job establishing the technical framework under which the election will be contested. Long live Fijian democracy.
“Indeed the manner in which the Fijian Elections Office and its supervisor of elections have conducted themselves, have won them international acclaim and recognition,” he said.
SOURCE: FIJI SUN/PACNEWS
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