10 Apr 2006

Fiji's Vice President calls for parliamentary quotas

10:34 am on 10 April 2006

Fiji's vice president, Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi, has called for quotas in parliament for women and young people.

Ratu Joni says this will allow decision making at all levels and from a wider cross section of the community.

The Fiji Times reports that Ratu Joni made his call at a seminar of 150 participants brought together by the United Nations Development Programme to draw up a "People's Strategy for Peace, Stability and Development in Fiji."

He said parliament does not provide a level playing field for everybody.

Ratu Joni said women bring a unique perspective to problems, as do young people.

He said it was troubling that the voting age remains at 21 along with the drinking age.

Ratu Joni said this does not reflect reality, adding that one makes people more mature by giving them responsibility, not denying them a role.

Ratu Joni said the young form the largest section of the population and there is no reason why they should not have some means to be heard.