2 Oct 2018

Partnership talks still underway ahead of Fiji polls

8:58 am on 2 October 2018

Several political parties in Fiji are still discussing forming a partnership to fight the next election according to the leader of the Freedom Alliance Party.

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Photo: RNZ / Philippa Tolley

The poll date has been set for November the 14th and eight parties are registered to contest 51 seats in parliament.

Jagath Karunaratne said the five percent threshold for gaining a seat is a challenge for the smaller parties.

He said some sacrifices would have to be made as Fiji's electoral system did not allow pre-election coalitions.

"The bottom line is, if we agree, for example, three parties agree to form a pre-election coalition, then we need to decide which party, which banner are we going to go under and then we will field 51 candidates under that banner," Mr Karunaratne said.

He said things should be finalised over the next couple of days.

The Freedom Alliance Party, since its inception, had been talking about national unity and unity among political parties, according to Mr Karunaratne.

"We strongly believe that ... having political unity at the political party level ... that is what we want to achieve, by coming into some sort of partnership with another party."

Mr Karunaratne said his party would start intensive campaigning now an election date's been announced.

He said they've been campaigning in a small way over the last year.

"Now at least we can make our preparations according to the date that we've been given and prepare. At the same time ideally we would have liked if it was announced much earlier.

"As we all know elections are the most important legitimate process in democracy."

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