By Shayal Devi in Suva
People’s Alliance leader Sitiveni Rabuka says any successor in government in Fiji — even if they are from an opposition party — should be accepted as a normal process in democratic systems.
Speaking to members of the media after casting his ballot at the Lower Ragg Ave polling station in Namadi, Suva, yesterday, Rabuka said he believed the polls would proceed “very well”, yet the ultimate victory belonged to God.
He also spoke about FijiFirst leader Voreqe Bainimarama feeling confident in this year’s polls.
“I think he’s feeling confident too,” he said, adding opposition parties had to be extremely cautious in the lead-up to the elections.”
When asked whether or not Bainimarama would accept the outcome should he fail to secure a majority win, Rabuka said the incumbent party had avenues such as the Court of Disputed Returns to turn to should the results not be in their favour.
He also said he was hoping for a “flood of votes” to ensure a strong victory.
“I accepted my defeat in 1999, congratulated Mr [Mahendra] Chaudhry outside his house and office and I hope we [Rabuka and Bainimarama] can do that.
“We cannot live forever. We cannot rule forever so successions, and even a successor who is from an opposition party, should be accepted as a normal process in democratic systems.”
He was also asked about his message to Fijians of Indian descent.
“I think there’s still fear in them but from 1992 to now, in 30 years it’s been a great era for them.
“They have seen no discriminatory policies introduced by my government. They should be pretty certain that I mean what I said then and what I say now.”
Shayal Devi is a Fiji Times reporter. Republished with permission.
Article by AsiaPacificReport.nz