Threat of another coup still ‘one of biggest dangers’ for Fiji, says Ratuva

New National Federation Party president Pramod Chand (left) welcomes Professor Steven Ratuva
New National Federation Party president Pramod Chand (left) and party leader Professor Biman Prasad, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, welcomes chief guest Professor Steven Ratuva during the NFP’s recent Diamond Jubilee celebrations held at Penang Sangam Primary School in Rakiraki. Image: Reinal Chand/The Fiji Times

By Anish Chand in Lautoka

The biggest danger to Fiji’s security and stability remains the possibility of another coup “when the circumstances are right”, warns a leading Fiji academic.

University of Canterbury’s Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies director Professor Steven Ratuva said this while speaking at the recent National Federation Party’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Rakiraki.

“Elections don’t solve problems — in fact in the case of Fiji, coups start after an election,” he said.

“So elections is a means to achieving towards something. In the last few weeks we have heard rumours about coups.

“What is this thing about rumours and coups in Fiji?

“It has developed a particular consciousness where it has been seen as a potential alternative to political change.

“In the case of Fiji, because of that consciousness that is built in us, which has been there and has been deep, that whenever there is an election, people just start feeling the consciousness of the potential for a coup to happen.

“How can we talk about the consciousness of coups and the way we see coups as something that we still see, it’s there, lurking around.

“The effects may linger and when the circumstances are right, they might come out again and that is one of the biggest dangers in terms of Fiji’s security and stability in the country.”

Anish Chand is a Fiji Times journalist. Republished with permission.

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