Academic: Having the reach to potential voters vital

11.05.06 Voters and children from the Naisole farming settlement in Serea, arriving in a four-wheel drive to cast their votes at the Waimalua polling station. Picture: ELIKI NUKTABU.

WITH Fiji having a single national constituency, having the reach to potential voters is vital.

That’s the view of University of the South Pacific’s academic in Governance and Developmental Studies, Professor Vijay Naidu as political parties prepare for the 2018 polls.

Prof Naidu said the presence of political parties in urban centres, suburbs and rural areas was important under a single constituency.

“Some political parties have organisational structures in place including offices in all major centres as well as agents who act as go-between party bosses and prospective voters,” he said.

“The single constituency also requires active engagement with the media — print, radio, and TV as well as the social media.

“It is apparent that there is increasing excitement among political party leaders and officials, provisional candidates that have been selected, agents and campaigners.

“Political pundits have also become engrossed on the electoral prospects of political parties and experienced and emergent politicians in the coming general election.”

Prof Naidu said political parties were formed to contest and win elections at national and local government levels and to be successful, parties needed to have structures in place, resources, inspiring to voters’ visions and manifestoes, campaign strategies and effective campaigners.

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