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owever, How can a government that took power by coup win the support of many? That's

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by Liu Peng


SUVA Cheap Jodie Meeks Jersey , Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Fiji is set to hold its 2014 General Election on Sept. 17, the first ever since the South Pacific island nation's 2006 military coup. As Fiji has witnessed the military taking power thrice in the past three decades, will the upcoming general election with brand-new rules normalize the way of governing and put an end to the so called "coup culture"?


ONE PERSON, ONE VOTE, ONE VALUE


Fiji issued the writ of election in July, consolidating Sept. 17 as the general election day. Its current constitution provides for a unicameral 50-member parliament, which will be the country's supreme authority and be elected on the basis of one person, one vote, one value. Elections are to be held every four years and every Fijian above the age of 18 is entitled to vote in the single, nationwide constituency.


In a bid to facilitate the nearly 600,000 registered voters and complete the general election in a single day, the government has set Sept. 17, a Wednesday, as a public holiday. Pre-polling kicked off on Sept. 3 at venues such as community halls, schools, military camps, correction centers and village sheds. The pre- polling, which ends on Sept. 15, is intended for voters living in remote areas or those that are part of services such as military and police.


To demonstrate impartiality, Fiji has invited at least 14 foreign countries including Australia, India, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, as well as the Europe Union to send their observers to monitor the election process.


The Fiji Police Force has announced that it will deploy some 3, 200 police officers nationwide on the election day to provide security at polling venues.


More than 240 candidates, including a few independent ones, run for the election. The rest come from seven political parties, namely the FijiFirst party, the Social Democratic Liberal Party, the Fiji Labor Party, the National Federation Party, the People's Democratic Party, the Fiji United Freedom Party, as well as OneFiji Party.


Among the parties, the most eye-catching one appears to be the FijiFirst party, led by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. An opinion poll conducted by the Fiji Times newspaper in early September showed that 49 percent of the interviewees were in favor of Bainimarama, followed by Social Democratic Liberal Party leader and former minister for women Teimumu Kepa with a support rate of 20 percent. In other opinion polls, Bainimarama and his FijiFirst party also led the race with handsome margins.


Manifestos and leaders' public speeches indicate that the most distinct difference between the FijiFirst and the Social Democratic Liberal Party is: the former promotes ethnic equality, national reconciliation and does not tolerate the so-called " second-class citizenry", while the latter, which claims that the title "Fijian" only applies to the country's indigenous people, insists on some privileges of the indigenous, locally known as the "iTaukei".


COLONIAL HISTORY AND ETHNIC TENSIONS


Ironically, Bainimarama is the leader of the 2006 coup. After that incident, the Fijian government led by him has been faced with significant pressures from countries such Australia and New Zealand, and calls for the Fijian military to restore democracy have never stopped.


The Pacific Islands Forum, whose secretariat is located in the Fijian capital of Suva, suspended Fiji's membership from the group on May 2, 2009 on grounds that the country failed to announce the date of the general election by the May 1, 2009 deadline.


Similarly, the Commonwealth fully suspended Fiji's membership on Sept. 2, 2009 as Fiji did not pledge to hold its general election by October, 2010 required by the Commonwealth. Although the suspension was later partially lifted, with the permission to attend a range of activities such as the Commonwealth Games, Fiji is still suspended from the councils of the Commonwealth.


After the 2006 coup, Australia and New Zealand imposed travel sanctions against senior Fijian officials until March 2014, when the sanctions were lifted. Moreover, Australia slapped other sanctions against Fiji including an arms embargo, suspension of ministerial contact and defense cooperation.


Fiji suffered a great deal in the international arena as a result of the 2006 coup. However, How can a government that took power by coup win the support of many? That's something worth mulling over, and the history of the country should not be omitted.


Located at the center of the southwest Pacific Ocean, Fiji became a British colony in 1874. From 1879 to 1916, British colonizers shipped a total of some 60,000 indentured workers from India to Fiji, and made those Asians work at sugarcane plantations and other places. During that period, a part of the indentured workers chose to return to India, while others decided to stay, calling Fiji home and sharing the island country with the indigenous Melanesian people.


After a century, the number of Fijians of Indian descent was no longer humble. According to Fiji's 2007 census, of the total population of 837,271 people, 313,798 were of Indian descent.


Although taking up nearly 40 percent of Fiji's population, Indo- Fijians barely own land. Official statistics show that over 90 percent of land in Fiji is owned by the indigenous.


To protect land ownership of the indigenous Fijians, Fiji set up in 1940 an organization named the "iTaukei Land Trust Board". Over the years, land that Indo-Fijians use has most typically been leased from indigenous chiefs.


Due to lifestyle and religion differences, indigenous Fijians and Indo-Fijians tend to live in separate communities in rural areas, with interracial marriages not quite common.


The pursuit of Indo-Fijians for equal status has never ceased. However, in Fiji's 1997 Constitution that was abrogated in 2009, the title "Fijian" still refers to the indigenous only, w Oil freez. Cheap Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Authentic Zach Ertz Jersey Authentic Tyreek Hill Jersey Tremaine Edmunds Womens Jersey Taysom Hill Youth Jersey Sam Darnold Youth Jersey Russell Wilson Kids Jersey Rob Gronkowski Kids Jersey Phillip Lindsay Broncos Jersey
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