‘Good governance is the cornerstone of true democracy’

National Federation Party vice-president Seini Nabou speaking during the political parties panel discussion and public forum. She is flanked by former prime ministers Mahendra Chaudhry and Laisenia Qarase. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA/FILE

GOOD governance is the cornerstone of true democracy, some political parties say.

As we head towards the 2018 General Election, we asked the seven registered political parties on their views on their views on ensuring an open, transparent and accountable government.

The National Federation Party (NFP), Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA), Fiji Labour Party, Unity Fiji party and the Freedom Alliance Party believe Fiji’s governance system lacks transparency and accountability.

The FijiFirst party and the HOPE party did not respond to the question when this edition went to press last night.

NFP leader Professor Biman Prasad said the first thing needed for an open government was an open mind. “Government is not a series of publicity stunts designed to make government ministers look good. It is service,” he said.

SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka said the party was concerned about the current state of play and approach used by the FijiFirst government, in managing the country.

“There is no doubt that there is so much dissatisfaction and fear among our citizens due to the lack transparency and accountability in government operations,” Mr Rabuka claimed.

Fiji Labour Party parliamentary leader Aman Ravindra-Singh said in a democracy, government must be held answerable to the people.

“To ensure this proper checks and balances are put in place to see that the policies and actions of the government are in line with established rules and regulations, and that information is openly available to the people,” Mr Ravindra-Singh said.

Unity Fiji Party leader Savenaca Narube said good governance was the cornerstone of true democracy.

“Unity Fiji believes that being elected by the people, government, in turn, must be transparent and accountable to the people,” Mr Narube said.