We’ve got to accept changes: Qarase
Deposed Fiji Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase believes that indigenous Fijians have to accept changes someday and nominate other races to be Prime Minister or President of the country.
Speaking to Fijilive, Qarase said that Barrack Obama’s triumph as the first black President of the United States of America shows that anything is possible.
“I believe that one day someone from the minority community will lead our country and I am sure about that. It will happen.”
Qarase believes that although transition is inevitable, it will take place over time because “we are just a young democracy”.
“We cannot compare ourselves to the US because they have been one of the largest democratic nations in the world for hundreds of years.
“For us democracy came only 38 years ago and we have to evolve… someday we got to accept changes and hopefully we will have other races nominated as Prime Ministers or Presidents of this country.”
However, he said that Fiji, having suffered four coups since 1987 and currently under a military-led Government, will have to get back to democratic rule before considering such options.
“That’s for the people to decide in future and if we want these kind of changes than we have to decide that.”
Fiji has had only one non-indigenous Prime Minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, who was ousted by hard line Fijian nationalists in a civilian coup in 2000, one year after winning the elections.
The position of Fiji President and Vice-President, however, has been the domain of Fijian chiefs who are appointed by the Great Council of Chiefs.
I am reminded of McCain’s wise words as he graciously accepted defeat – ‘We don’t hide from history, we make history’.