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Even if he allows his opponents to run, there is that question of whether the polling booths will be open long enough

Sanctions against Fiji score poorly on international scale

Updated 23 minutes ago

An international expert on the effectiveness of sanctions says on a global scale Fiji’s case scores very poorly.

Gary Hufbauer of the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics says on a scale of one to 16, the sanctions brought by countries like New Zealand and Australia on Fiji have only achieved a score of about four.

He says Fiji would have had to see much heavier sanctions like stopping tourists to the country for them to have had an effect like a regime change or early free and fair elections.

Dr Hufbauer says the score remains low even though the leader of the regime, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, has promised elections for later this year.

Even if he allows his opponents to run, there is that question of whether the polling booths will be open long enough, votes will be accurately counted and so forth, so I will hold on to my scepticism til we get much closer. Maybe knock it up to four, but our cut off for success is nine and this is way below.

Gary Hufbauer of the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics.

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5 thoughts on “Even if he allows his opponents to run, there is that question of whether the polling booths will be open long enough

  1. Gary Hufbauer of the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics, TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU. Keep up with your accurate assessments of the situation in Fiji…we cannot say you support any side in Fiji ie we value you independent view point.

  2. This has been a well known fact ever since these soft lame sanctions were imposed on the regime. And the results has been ineffective. We need sanctions that bite and make any future wannabes think twice. Yet we hear the same old good Samaritan story that it will hurt the general population. and this is what really sickens me. The general population have been pulverised by these thugs for way too long than the hard sanctions would have achieved in the shortest possible time. Thanks Gary for the reminder and hope the right people hear this and do something about it.

  3. Spot on – couldn’t agree more! Though Australia would be regarded by many to be the sheriff in the South Pacific, it is becoming more apparent that Australia would be the last country that many would want to consult regarding Fiji’s coup problem! The reason is that Australia has lived with Fiji’s coup problem since 1987 and has become immune to it and doesn’t seem to know how to handle it. Its ironical when you consider this worrying state of vague and weak leadership from Australia on how to tackle Fiji’s coup problem, along with the money that it spends on defense cooperation programs with Fiji! Imposing smart sanction (laced with the rhetoric of not hurting local people) on an island nation that is regularly in the business of unlawfully overthrowing elected governments is not the kind of foreign policy I would go for. Its more lame duck than anything else and it doesn’t surprise us that it scores poorly on international scale! The rhetoric also about not hurting local people that accompanied the smart sanction appears to be more of a cover for the real concern which is the protection of Australian business investments in Fiji. With all the Fiji coups that Australia has had to deal with and the capacity that Australia should have mastered to handle the situation effectively, this poor score on the international scale just shows how Australia’s foreign policy in the pacific islands is not to be trusted!

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