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Ratu Joni: Party needs to identify with youths

Nasik Swami
Tuesday, April 01, 2014

THE National Federation Party needs to identify with youths in order to get their attention and secure their support, says former vice president Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi.

In his address during the NFPs AGM in Nadi on Saturday, Ratu Joni said youths were not tokens but perceived to be contributing to policies and to decision-making in the organisation.

"Young people, as any other group, can see through fakery and falsehood — they do not necessary want control, but they seek recognition not only from their peers but from their seniors who tend to wield power and influence in wider social circle," Ratu Joni said.

He said in the context of the post December 2006 coup, getting votes of youths would be challenging.

"Challenging because many of those voting for the first time is the under 25 age group and have come of age since the present government took power.

"With media controls in place, and little to counter the prevailing political orthodoxy, too many now believe that history as they know began in December 2006."

He said going forward, Fiji needed to learn to resolve its issues, whatever they were, by democratic means and according to the rule of law.

"These are opportune time because young people seem too eager to participate or express an opinion as reflected on the social media. So it is important not only that they are given the space for it, but that they are accorded respect when doing so."

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