Democracy is relatively new and unique

Aspate of successful elections in the South Pacific in the latter half of this year spells a resounding win for democracy in the region and for Pacific peoples. There is no such thing as a perfect democracy, just as there is no such thing as a perfect world, but the elections around the region have shown that the will of the people has prevailed and has been respected by the political class. Election fever caught on like a contagion around the region since May this year. New Caledonia, the Cook Islands, New Zealand and Fiji have already had elections since. The region and the world now await elections in the Solomon Islands and Tonga scheduled for the 19th and 27th of this month respectively. The Pacific Island region’s most anticipated election was undoubtedly the one in Fiji, since it had been in the making for eight years. Planned and implemented under the watchful eyes of international observers, the Fijian elections were a success, despite a few complaints. 

As well as Fiji, all other elections held so far have been smooth and largely non-controversial, except for some procedural issues in the case of the Cook Islands that have taken quite a while to iron out. These changes in the political landscape could not have been achieved without the vigorous and decisive participation of the people of these countries at the very grassroots levels.

The citizens of all these countries must pat themselves on the back for not only achieving this success but also for helping deliver clear verdicts with no wriggle room for the political class to exercise any Machiavellian machinations, which they are so fond of and prone to using if they have even the slightest of a chance.

There is no reason why the forthcoming elections in the Solomon Islands and Tonga, too, like the others around the region this year should not go through smoothly and non-controversially. It is understood that the preparations in the two countries have been satisfactorily under way and high voter participation is anticipated. 

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We Say is compiled and edited with the oversight of Samisoni Pareti.

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