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

 


FIJI: Academics criticise electoral decree curb on NGOs

FIJI: Academics criticise electoral decree curb on NGOs as 'unfair ... undemocratic'


www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/pacific-media-watch/fiji-academics-criticise-electoral-decree-curb-ngos-unfair-undemocratic-8574

AUCKLAND (Pacific Media Watch): A provision in the Fiji Electoral Decree 2014 has stirred debate among some university academics.

Section 115 of the decree restricts any person or group receiving funding from foreign governments or from any organisation from conducting or participating in any campaigns, meetings, interviews, or any public forum discussing the elections.

A senior lecturer in Pacific Studies at the University of Auckland's Centre for Pacific Studies, Dr Steven Ratuva, believes this particular provision in the Electoral Decree is unfair and undermines the spirit of democracy.

“The whole idea of moving towards elections or democratisation, after the Fiji coup of 2006, is to bring in different players to participate through the process of democratic discussion," he said.

“I think the broader participation of people in terms of what has to be done [and] what Fiji should be, should be brought out to the public arena. This should be discussed fully and in a very transparent way.

“Some people will always argue later that this particular provision is going to undermine any claim that the election was fair and free.”

This particular component in the decree also threatens civil society organisations - one of the most powerful pillars of democracy, said Dr Ratuva.

'Extra power'
“They provide that extra fight power to create that democratic space much more together with the media. So I hope they do something about that particular provision in the decree.”
Broadcaster and fellow in journalism Patrick Craddock, who heads the journalism programme at the University of the South Pacific, says NGOs want Section 115 changed before the election, but the chances of this happening are uncertain.

“It’s restrictive, no doubt about that,” Craddock said.

If the new government after the election did not amend some of these decrees imposed by the military backed government, including the Media Industry Development Decree 2010, media in Fiji would struggle to do their jobs properly, Craddock said.

“I think all media here and the human face of the media - the journalist - will have a hard time trying to do their job well. Democracy requires many voices. If you shut some people up your democratic credentials become degraded.”

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

South Sudan: UN Agencies Reach More Than Half A Million

South Sudan: UN Agencies Reach More than Half a Million People with Life-Saving Aid More>>

Israeli Plans To Expand Its Illegal Settlement Enterprises

PLO Executive Committee member, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, strongly denounced Israeli plans to expand its illegal settlement enterprise by approving the construction of 2,561 units in the settlement of Givat Hamatos. More>>

ALSO:

Ecuador: Villagers Plan To Seize Chevron's $106M Arbitral Award

QUITO, ECUADOR, Sep. 30 /CSRwire/ - In what could be a huge boost to their campaign to force Chevron to comply with a $9.5 billion environmental judgment in Ecuador, rainforest villagers plan to enforce a court order directing them to take possession ... More>>

World Grossly Ill-Prepared To Deal Ebola Outbreak

Leaders from Sierra Leone and Liberia, the two countries, along with Guinea at the frontlines of the battle against the unprecedented Ebola outbreak in West Africa, urged the General Assembly today ensure the United Nations mounted a stronger, better coordinated response “to end this grave threat to our collective survival.”More>>

ALSO:

  • Save The Children - Save the Children Builds Its First Ebola Treatment Centre


  • Israel’s Netanyahu Warns Against ‘Militant Islam’

    29 September 2014 – From the podium of the General Assembly today Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the world of the grave threat he said it faced from militant Islam’s desire to dominate the planet, be they Sunni extremists or ... More>>

    Deputy PM of Syria Victims Of ISIL Brutality 'Waiting On Us To Act'

    As the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant began carrying their slaughter in the Middle East, “they might have surprised many of the countries present here, but not…us,” the Deputy Prime Minister of Syria told the United Nations General Assembly, underscoring today that the time has come for the world to stand united and tackle the threat head-on.More>>

    Not A Single Child Untouched By Recent Gaza Conflict

    There is not a single child who has not been adversely affected by the recent conflict in Gaza, where children suffer from bedwetting, difficulties in sleeping, nightmares, a loss of appetite, and display more aggressive behaviour at school, an independent United Nations human rights expert said todayMore>>


    Ebola: UN Readies To Start Work As Death Toll Surpasses 3,000

    Ebola response: medical supplies, including protective equipment and essential medicine, are loaded onto trucks at the Lungi International Airport in Freetown, capital of Sierra Leone. Photo: UNICEF/Sulaiman Stephens More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news