Prof Narsey's article "Justice Gates throws out electoral challenge" highlights critical challenges that Fiji faces in 2017. A sanitized version of his article can be found in the Fiji Times, FT 31/12/2016.
According to Prof Narsey, an important electoral challenge was surprisingly indicated in Chief Justice Anthony Gates’ Submission to the Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights on the Code of Conduct Bill (read Mere Naleba and “Gates not happy with system”, FT 8 Dec. 2016).
Justice Gates was apparently "disappointed that there wasn’t a constituency system in the new parliamentary arrangements”. This means that there is no mechanism in place that enables MPs to go back to the people who had elected or who hadn’t elected them, to get their feedback as to what they think is going on in Parliament. This, according to Prof Narsey, is a logical consequence of the “one national constituency system” imposed on Fiji by the unelected Bainimarama Government in 2013.
Prof Narsey states that not having local constituencies clearly undermines a crucial benefit of parliamentary democracy whereby elected MPs who do not perform as expected by their voters, face the prospect of being rejected by the same voters at the next election.
Opposition political parties and independent electoral experts had made this very same point when the electoral system, and the illegal Bai-Khai 2013 Constitution, had been forced on Fiji, but to no avail. Click HERE to read more.
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