PATRON-CLIENT politics has caused division in Fiji by favouring ethnic communities within society.
In his opening remarks at the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) Pacific Symposium, Archbishop Peter Loy Chong defined patron-client politics as the form of power of mainstream iTaukei political establishment.
"This breeds the coup culture and the loss of democracy," Archbishop Chong said.
He told leaders of various church groups that to resolve Fiji's coup culture and facilitate the path towards democracy; politicians and political institutions must go beyond patron-client politics.
The symposium, he said, was to inspire faith-based leaders in developing a collective call for parliamentary democracy. Archbishop Chong contended that without the displacement of patron-client politics there would be little hope of building a democratic Fiji.
"The patron politics must be eradicated."
He said the question of how Fiji moved beyond patron-client politics was the central question beneath Fiji's coup culture.
"Hence I posit that for the church to be faithful to its mission and be relevant to its missionary context, namely Fiji's coup culture she must respond effectively to cultural awareness, conscientisation, civic education and empowerment."
He stressed to the church leaders that their key messages should include the removal of patron-client politics and the education and empowerment of people so that they could participate responsibly in the political affairs of the country.