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By Ella Melake in Suva

The People’s Alliance leader Sitiveni Rabuka in Fiji says he is ready to use all the experience and knowledge he has gained in his 74 years to lead the country to peace.

Speaking to a packed audience during a rally at Nasinu Sangam School, Narere, Nasinu, on Thursday night, the former prime minister and first coup leader said he was contesting Wednesday’s 2022 general election for the sake of his great grandchildren.

“What I’m doing now is not instinct, what I’m doing now is a vision,” he said.

FIJI ELECTIONS 2022
FIJI ELECTIONS 2022

“I want to serve the country. I’d like to lead a nation of harmony where people live together in harmony because I’m thinking of my great grandchildren.

“I want them to enjoy life in a country that has so many races, so many religions, so many faiths, but I want them to be happy in a multifarious, multireligious and multiracial society.

“Come away from our race and religion and gender and all those compartmentalisations we build, we think of — we’re just human. We’re human beings. We want to enjoy life. We’re going to be here for only a short while.”

Rabuka told those present that he was “74 but blessed”.

‘The scars of life’
“I’ve played a lot of dangerous sports but I’m still here, I walk with a limp, go along like a boat that’s rocking in the ocean, but those are the scars we bear when we go through life.

Today's Sunday Times front page 11122022
Today’s Sunday Times front page . . . the Fiji general election is in three days. Image: APR screenshot

“With all that comes experience. With all that comes knowledge, with all that comes wisdom and what’s the use then if you take all the experience and wisdom to the grave without contributing anything to the future generation.”

He said the country was not where it should be and that Fiji had gone backwards.

“We should be way ahead of where we are because we build upon the achievements and efforts of our past governments, that’s what growth is all about.

“We just build on what the previous leaders have done.”

  • The Fiji general election is on December 14.

Ella Melake is a Fiji Times reporter. Republished with permission.

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