18 Jun 2012

Beddoes advocates caution about non ethnic voting for Fiji

3:40 pm on 18 June 2012

A politician representing minority groups in Fiji says a system of voting must be retained which reflects the nation's diversity.

The leader of the United People's Party, Mick Beddoes, says it will take two or three elections before prejudices and mistrust between different ethnic groups completely die out in the country.

The interim government says non ethnic voting is a non negotiable in the new constitution but Mr Beddoes says caution should be exercised over the issue and he has a simple solution.

"So let's say it's four percent minorities and we end up with three seats, so we divide Fiji into three but every citizen in Fiji votes for that minority. So the minority representation remains in parliament, same things with Indians, same with Fijians so you have that mix in parliament and the people look up and say, ah, I am represented. But it also requires aspiring candidates to appeal across the board to all the population."

Fiji politician Mick Beddoes