The unelected PM who wants to get himself elected took forever to admit that he planned to stand for election. He promised elections years ago, then he kept saying his ’reforms’ were vital to the future of the nation, but it took him forever to say he would stand. And he could never say who would be standing for election in the name of these reforms if it wasn’t him.
Even now, Sayed-Khaiyum still hasn’t said he’ll stand for election. If the reforms are so important, why can’t the two of them just say it: “we will be standing for election and our ‘reforms’ to the sugar industry, the media, the Great Council of Chiefs etc are what we stand for”.
Where is the support base for their reforms? They spent 6 years muzzling criticism and avoiding debate. They’ve persecuted the Methodist Church and the Trade Union movement, not to forget the sugar industry, and cane farmers in particular, who have been treated with contempt.
The problem with the transition to democracy for this two man band is that democracy can’t run like the way their regime runs. They have to change their style.
Democracy requires processes that involve others. It means consulting, not issuing edicts. They instituted an independent constitutional process and then completely disrespected their own appointees and the process. They couldn’t even come up with a handful of half respectable Yes Men for the Constituent Assembly.
This is the way the two-headed monster works. Everything the government does has to be funnelled through Sayed-Khaiyum or Bainimarama.
So don’t expect anything that looks like a Bainimarama party anytime soon. Apart from ASK, he only trusts Yes Men, lackeys who don’t or can’t ask questions.
A political party is not made up of troops who obey orders or lackeys who fetch and carry. It has to have volunteers who share the vision and whose input has to be recognised. They have to be inspired. They have to be credible leaders in their own right at their own levels. The list of public figures who’ve come out in support of Bainimarama is a roll call of nobodies.