10 Feb 2006

Marked decrease in Fiji Indian voting population

9:23 am on 10 February 2006

A report from Fiji says a decrease in the ethnic Indian voting population will be more evident in this year's general election than in any other in the country's history.

Radio Legend reports that this has been revealed by the USP's director of development studies at a workshop to review Fiji's electoral system organised by the Citizens Constitutional Forum.

Professor Robbie Robertson says it is no secret that many Indo-Fijians are leaving the country.

He says this will result in Indians making up only 40 per cent or even as low as just 37 per cent of the total voting population.

Professor Robertson says projections are such that at the current rate of immigration, by the year 2020 the indigenous Fijian population will rise to 70 per cent and the effects will be more rapid in the following years.

He says should this trend continue where indigenous Fijians constitute a vast majority, their prospects of political communal unity will diminish because there will be no need for it.

Professor Robertson says any changes to the electoral system should recognise the demographic changes taking place.