‘Fijians want stability, prosperity’ – newly-appointed President

President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere delivers his message in Parliament yesterday (November 22,2021). Picture: PARLIAMENT OF FIJI

Newly-appointed President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere says Fijians want unity, stability and prosperity, and the country should not let “sideshows” dominate national discourse.

While opening the 2021-2022 Parliament session yesterday, he said MPs should focus on long-term national objectives for the benefit of all Fijians.

“We must see the forest for the trees, for politicians and personalities come and go, but our institutions
and the ethos of equality and a strong nation-state must endure.

Indeed, they must thrive,” he said.

Ratu Wiliame told the parliamentarians that, despite representing different parties, they must strive for what was best for all Fijians.

“This is not the 1900s.

“We are not some far-flung colony in the furthest reaches of a sprawling empire. Nor are we some backwater port in a vast Pacific.

“Our nation is home to a people who want stability and prosperity and who are wiser and more educated than ever
before.

“Fiji’s global star is rising, our modernising economy sits at the cusp of recovery, and the old style of politics has no
place in this new Fiji.”

Ratu Wiliame said Fiji should not suffer the politics of pettiness and personalisation or exist in some perpetual state
of political antagonism.

“Instead, we must see further than short-term political wins toward a longterm vision for the nation’s progress.

“And each of you must strive to move beyond a perspective that is tethered to the past, or to a single religion, a single gender, a single ethnicity, or a single province because I assure you, the future does not wait for a single one of you.

“And we do not have a single day to spare in meeting this century’s challenges and opportunities.”

Parliament will begin next week on Monday.

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