Fiji independent takes stock of her election loss
An independent candidate in Fiji to set up political party next time round.
An independent candidate who failed to get elected in Fiji's polls says she and her supporters plan to set up a political party to fight the next election.
Roshika Deo and her "Be the Change Campaign" are also planning a shadow parliament.
She told Sally Round her scrutineers witnessed irregularities in the election but it wasn't a surprise that Frank Bainimarama and his FijiFirst party won.
ROSHIKA DEO: The presiding officers were not very well versed with some of the rules. So some of our polling agents were asked to help them count the ballot papers. We also had, some of our polling agents that were not allowed in, by the, and this was during the counting, they were not being allowed in by the presiding officers. They said that they required a stamp, but according to elections office, all our documents were in order and it was inconsistent. So certain parts of the country our polling agents were allowed in with the exact same documents, certain parts of the country they were not allowed in. I spoke to two or three presiding officers, trying to negotiate and say that it is very important that they are there. But they still did not budge. Some of our polling agents noticed that there were some duplicate ballot papers. I do not have the exact details they have and it has been shared. One or two of our polling agents also noticed that the presiding officers that were going into help, people vote, they were going in without a witness. And then the postal voting, I mean we had supporters from Vanuatu, Australia and Switzerland that said they got the ballot papers on the day of election.
SALLY ROUND: Do you think that was enough to have changed the result of the election?
RD: I don't think so, I think that the results of the election it would have changed maybe slightly, but not too drastically, looking at the kind of conversation that is happening now, what people are sharing, the kind of debates that are happening, the kind of campaign strategies that other parties had, in retrospect a lot of people voted out of fear and insecurity. A lot of people reacted to the Islamophobia, the racism, that was becoming evident all over social media and all over the newspapers. So people didn't really vote for representation, they voted mostly out of fear and insecurity and those things are real. You know it is a democratization process we have embarked on, its a process.
SD: So what next for you then?
RD: In our movement we have people as young as 16 and in the core working group the age is 16 to 35. So we had this young group of people that never ever had this interest in politics that could never understand politics or relate to it, who are now so eagerly wanting to do so much more. So we are trying, we will keep the momentum up. So we are going to work in the next two years to transform the movement into a political party and then the last two years working on our campaign strategies and campaigning. This was a training and a learning ground for alot of other people that maybe standing for elections now in 2018. We are looking at a shadow parliament. So then we want to come out with petitions and submissions and bills that we want to present to the actual parliament. That these are the issues these are the discussions, consensus we have come to. And we want our government now, to look after our interests and look at some of the issues that have not been discussed or that have not been addressed or the issues that affect us.
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