Why do rumours of a coup surface around election time?
Why do we invariably have military exercises or parades with armed soldiers in various parts of the country a few weeks before elections?
Why do the heads of our security forces (police and the army) keep reassuring the people that there will be no coup after the elections?
We believe that military exercises are deliberately planned to coincide with the elections.
We believe that it is intended to intimidate and influence the voters to vote a particular way if they wish to avoid instability
This has been happening at every election since 1987 but more so since 2000.
Just before the 2006 elections, Bainimarama as the then Commander RFMF assured the people that there would not be any coup and that the military would uphold the constitution and protect the elected government.
Yet six months later, he executed a coup ousting the Qarase government from office and seizing power for himself.
Similar assurances were given before the 2014 general elections. A week before the elections armed soldiers marched through the streets of Suva.
We see the same tactics being repeated this time around – military exercises, veiled threats by PM in his taxpayer-funded campaigns, harassment of opposition politicians etc.
An added feature post 2006, is blatant media bias – Fiji Sun, FBC Radio and TV .
So we ask: will elections ever be free, fair and credible in Fiji?