Editorial comment – Battlelines drawn

Supervisor of Election Mohammed Saneem officiates during the Fijian Elections Office 2018 National Candidate list ball draws at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva on Thursday, October 18, 2018. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Now that numbers have been attached to candidates for the 2018 General Election, attention will surely shift to campaigning by the various political parties.

This is when the intensity picks up as parties lift the tempo on their campaign platforms.

Now more than ever it is important that voters are steadfast in why they must be part of the election process.

November 14 is going to be a very special day for many reasons.

For the voter, it is an opportunity to be a key part of a process that should end in the majority electing our members of parliament.

For the political parties and aspiring candidates, it is an opportunity to be part of the governing of our beautiful nation.

Ideally, polling day should be about voters expressing their right to choose who they want to see in parliament.

It is about making an informed choice and making a difference for themselves and ultimately for the nation.

Now that numbers have been attached to faces and names, attention will have to shift to the messages the parties aim at the masses.

The Fijian Elections Office conducted the national candidates’ number draw at Suva’s Grand Pacific Hotel yesterday.

The draw was led by Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem who read out the names of the 235 candidates before the drawing of the first number from the barrel.

Following the draw political parties contesting the 2018 polls said they would up their game for their campaigns.

Yesterday’s draw was witnessed by the Multinational Observer Group, members of the Fiji Police Force and agents from various political parties.

Traditionally many Fijians are known to make last-minute decisions, that’s why the next few weeks leading up to the elections are going to be intense.

This is when experience will no doubt come to the fore for parties and their candidates.

Campaign messages will target various sections of the population. They will range from age groups to racial and ethnic compositions.

They will target emotions.

Disagreements are an important part of this process. Now more than ever, we should choose to be informed about everything from manifestos to the readiness of aspiring politicians to represent us in parliament.

Let’s ask questions of our aspiring politicians.

We have an opportunity to raise issues that tug at the heartstrings and put candidates to the test.

Doubts must be cleared and nagging issues clarified. When all things are considered, the challenge is for voters to be prepared to exercise that right to be a part of an important process that comes around once every four years.

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