Fiji elections: People ‘not powerless’ in real democracy, says Naidu

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Suva lawyer and Fiji Times columnist Richard Naidu
Suva lawyer and Fiji Times columnist Richard Naidu . . . people "have to actually believe that they can do something". Image: Jonacani Lalakobau/The Fiji Times

By Felix Chaudhary in Suva

People are not powerless in a “real” democracy, says prominent Suva-based Fiji lawyer Richard Naidu.

Speaking to The Fiji Times during an interview, Naidu – who writes a weekly column for the newspaper – outlined why citizens should take an active interest in politics.

“I think people have got to understand that they are not powerless in a real democracy,” he said.

FIJI ELECTIONS 2022
FIJI ELECTIONS 2022

“They’re not powerless. They have to think about the health of their parents and education of their kids and why there’s no water in the taps, and ultimately that all comes back to politics, but they have to actually believe that they can do something about it.

“You know, in countries like Australia and New Zealand, the UK, members of Parliament, ministers — even the prime minister — they’re out every weekend, meeting their constituents. Constituents are asking them to deliver things.”

Naidu said the MPs in those countries understood that if they did not work for the people, they would be thrown out at the next election.

He added that was the accountability aspect of a democracy which allowed people and ordinary citizens to get close to government through the members of Parliament.

  • The Fiji general election is on December 14.

Felix Chaudhary is a Fiji Times journalist. Republished with permission.

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