FijiFirst election candidates lineup – a bit light on educational credits

USP's Laucala campus in Suva
USP's Laucala campus in Suva . . . a target of the FijiFirst government in spite of many of its election candidates having benefited from the regional institution. Image: USP

COMMENTARY: By Michael Field

The ruling FijiFirst Party has released its candidate list for the general election on December 14.

With it came some dubious biographies composed by candidates which voters will have to delve into over the coming weeks.

The list gives a basic outline of FijiFirst: 60 percent of its candidates — 31 people — have a university bachelor’s degree.

Very few have anything more, and it would be fair to say, FijiFirst is not rich in intellectuals or academics. No prestigious universities for any of them.

What is important is the fact that just over a third of the candidates — 18 people — have degrees from the Suva-based University of the South Pacific.

They owe their careers and jobs to a university that the FijiFirst government is trying to destroy.

Fiji continues to refuse to pay its USP dues of $88 million — and yet its own candidates benefited from the important regional institution.

The 21 FijiFirst candidates with nothing more than a high school education are famously led by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and include his possible successor Inia Seruiratu.

Michael Field is an independent journalist and author and co-editor of The Pacific Newsroom. Republished with permission.

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