World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Mixed Poll Feelings In Speight Stronghold

USP Pacific Journalism Online:
USP Pasifik Nius:
Have your say:

by Peter Emberson, Pacific Journalism Online (USP)

SUVA (Pasifik Nius): Saturday morning in the Fiji capital Suva's airport town Nausori - a colourful and chaotic noisy scene with people thronging its streets in the buildup to this month's post-coup general election.

Chinese farmers and Fijian villagers from Tailevu and Rewa provinces - coup leader George Speight's stronghold - offload their produce from the hundreds of "carriers" with blue, yellow or green tarpaulins advertising Fiji Bitter beer.

Indo-Fijian shop owners take down wooden or iron shutters from their display windows for a another day of business.

Behind this picturesque postcard setting attracting shoppers and market vendors from the greater Suva area, there is mixture of different political views resonating from Nausori.

Many Fijian villagers - who travel to Nausori town from Rewa and Tailevu to sell their produce - called for the Fiji Government to see that development reached the rural areas too.

They want better education and scholarship for their children.

Other Fijians had different visions for Fiji after the vital election on August 25-September 1.

"I want all government officials at all levels to be indigenous Fijians," said one Fijian man, who sat proudly in front of his bundles of taro.

However, many Indo-Fijians asked to comment on changes they would like to see were reluctant to say anything.

Undercurrents of fear and a sense of hopelessness seemed to be mounting among Indo-Fijians in the area. Many of them shied away, saying they were either fearful or weary of the questions, fearing repercussions.

They still refused to be quoted, even after this reporter told them they would not be named.

However, an Indo-Fijian newspaper vendor who braved the fumes and dusty narrow streets of Nausori daily said: "Just look what happened to our last Labour Government … what do you want us to say?"

He would not comment further.

The Labour-led People's Coalition government was seized by Speight's gunmen in Parliament on May 19 last year and held hostage for 56 days.

Many people who were asked whether they had studied the contents of the party manifestos said they trusted the candidates and parties they were voting.

Many Fijian villagers, mostly from the Rewa and Tailevu area, were only too happy to comment, calling for national unity.

They said the current land issue and reconciliation could be resolved through the creation of a Christian state.

* The general election is from August 25-September 1.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news