Fiji’s political ‘power game’ – Ratuva says how rival MoU pact can work

NFP's Biman Prasad (left) with People's Alliance leader Sitiveni Rabuka
National Federation Party leader, Professor Biman Prasad (left) with the People's Alliance Party leader Sitiveni Rabuka after their signing of their party partnership agreement. Image: Jonacani Lalakobau/Fiji Times

By Luke Nacei in Suva

Forming post-election alliances through formal agreement is an effective way of drawing in a broader and more culturally diverse group of voters into a bigger support bloc, says a New Zealand-based political sociologist.

Professor Steven Ratuva, director of the Macmillan Brown Pacific Studies Centre at Canterbury University, said this while responding to the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed recently by the opposition National Federation Party and the People’s Alliance party which was formed last year and led by Sitiveni Rabuka.

The two parties have undertaken to work together in the lead-up to the 2022 Fiji general election.

Professor Ratuva said politics everywhere had to do with power contestation, and the removal or weakening of those in power was usually one of the most fundamental factors of this “power game”.

Meanwhile, Rabuka says his party will win the election.

“The question I would like to ask Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama is, has he ever played competitive sports,” Rabuka said during a news conference.

“Nobody goes into the field thinking that they are going to lose; we are going in thinking the way he is thinking, we are going in to win.”

Rabuka, whose MoU witj the NFP sets out the guidelines on how the two parties would work together towards the election, confirmed that the two parties would be fighting the polls on their own.

However, he said they would be working together on a number of issues during the election.

When quizzed by the media on how he intended to make the partnership with NFP work under the electoral process, Rabuka said “it is not a coalition, it’s an MoU”.

NFP leader Professor Biman Prasad said their partnership was to get rid of the mess the FijiFirst government had created in the country.

Luke Nacei is a Fiji Times reporter. Republished with permission.

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