Parties need to act now

South Pacific academic Dr Neelesh Gounder say over a quarter of Fiji's population living in poverty and political party policies on cost of living, youth unemployment and decent wage would get a lot of attention. Picture: ATU RASEA

POLITICAL parties that have not selected their candidates for the coming polls need to speedily proceed with naming their candidates to be in serious contention and get into Parliament, says University of the South Pacific professor in Governance and Developmental Studies Professor Vijay Naidu.

He said in terms of election readiness, the five registered political parties that had publicised their selected candidates (in varying numbers) had a head start compared with the three that had not.

“At this point in time, it is apparent that some political parties are more prepared for the general election battle than others,” Prof Naidu said.

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

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

“With the single national constituency having the reach to potential voters is vital. Presence in urban centres, suburbs and rural areas is part of this.

“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.

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

Prof Naidu said the indicators of how prepared political parties were included the articulation of party political position on contemporary issues which were pointers to their vision and manifestoes, the selection of candidates, having active offices in strategic locations and engaging in effective fundraising and gathering support.

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