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Evaluating the effect of the electoral system in post-coup Fiji

Reilly, B. (2001) Evaluating the effect of the electoral system in post-coup Fiji. Pacific Economic Bulletin, 16 (1). p. 142.

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In 1997, Fiji’s Constitution Review Commission (CRC) produced a voluminous proposal for constitutional reform, The Fiji Islands: Towards a United Future, which recommended that Fiji move ‘gradually but decisively’ away from communalism towards a free, open and multi-ethnic political system. Acknowledging that political parties in many ethnically-divided societies tend to be based around particular ethnic groups, the Commission’s stated objective was ‘to find ways of encouraging all, or a sufficient number, of them to come together for the purpose of governing the country in a way that gives all communities an opportunity to take part’ (Constitution Review Commission 1996:308). They viewed the electoral system as the most powerful tool by which the nature of Fijian politics could be influenced and engineered. After assessing and evaluating most major electoral systems against criteria such as the capacity to encourage multi-ethnic government; recognition of the importance of political parties; incentives for moderation and co-operation across ethnic lines; and effective representation of constituents, they recommended the adoption of a preferential alternative vote (AV) electoral system for all future elections in Fiji (Constitution Review Commission 1996:304).

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Australian National University
Copyright: Asia Pacific Press
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