‘Parties need to identify where they fit in society’

UniFiji Vice Chancellor Professor Shaista Shameem. Picture: REINAL CHAND/FT FILE

Political parties need to identify where they fit in Fijian society and identify which spectrum of democracy they stand for, says former Human Rights Commission director and University of Fiji vice-chancellor Professor Shaista Shameem.

She made the comment during a political parties’ panel discussion on human rights last week.

“The first thing to do for political parties is to decide where on the spectrum of democracy they fit and once you figure that out, then every single policy of that party will be linked to how you define yourself within the spectrum of democracy,” she said.

Professor Shameem said, “Nobody has ultimate ownership of democracy and various political party leaders historically have defined and practised democracy in their own way.”

She said it was imperative for political parties to first identify which democratic scale they were on.

“Parties can then look at Fiji’s national development plan, which has not been revised since the pandemic period, and incorporate their policies to suit their stance on various social issues.”

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