UNITY A MAJOR CHALLENGE FOR NEW FIJI PARTY

Editorial

FijiSUN

SUVA, Fiji (Feb. 1) – Former Great Council of Chiefs Chairman Ratu Epeli Ganilau believes the revival of the new Alliance party is the way forward for the country.

Ratu Epeli said the party is to promote unity after the ruling Soqosoqo Ni Duavata Ni Lewenivanua party and the Fiji Labour Party have gone their separate ways without looking like achieving this aim.

This is basically done to suit their own political agendas but not the nation as a whole, he says.

We salute Ratu Epeli’s view and the New Alliance party’s concern for the progress of the nation. However, there is one major fact that Ratu Epeli needs to understand and that is that the New Alliance party cannot rely on the reputation and policy of its past leaders if it is to stand a chance in next year’s polls.

History proves that despite its stand on multiracialism, democracy and equality, the Alliance Party lost the 1977 and 1987 general elections. And it was in 1977 that the defeat of former President Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau by former army officer Captain Atunaisa Maitoga of the National Federation Party proved that, despite its stand, the party was not welcomed by the Indo Fijian community. And even the efforts by the country’s greatest ever leader, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, to unite all races largely failed throughout his 17years of political supremacy.

Ratu Epeli will have to devise a totally new ploy if he wants the party to progress let alone win a seat in next year’s election. He has to do away with the policies set by Ratu Mara and the old Alliance government because they failed to deliver the desired result. Moreover, Ratu Epeli, should also realize that the existence of the New Alliance party is bound to split the Fijian vote.

This will create differences and divisions with more hurt to the Fijian race. There will be divisions and it will be hard to bring the people together.

Ratu Epeli saw the effects of such move when he stood against his cousin Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, to lay his claim to the title of Tui Cakau. This created chaos and there was bad blood among relatives, which exists to this day.

These are some areas Ratu Epeli and the New Alliance Party will want to ponder when considering their next move. While most will welcome the New Alliance Party’s entry into the political arena, Ratu Epeli and his team should understand that the people are tired of being led in circles by policies that have failed to produce results.

The onus is now on them to make things happen – but a new and positive outlook will be required.

February 1, 2005

FijiSUN: http://www.sun.com.fj/

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