Fiji's Communal Electoral System: A Study of Some Aspects of the Failure of Democratic Politics in Fiji

Stephanie Lawson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The unique communal system which operated in Fiji from independence in 1970 until the coup of 1987 was ostensibly designed to ensure the equitable distribution of seats in the Fiji House of Representatives among the major racial groupings as a means of promoting political stability. The way in which the system was constructed, however, gave rise to gross imbalances in the ‘racial’ composition of both government and opposition parties. The aim of this article is to explore this and other problems associated with the system and to suggest that far from providing the political stability intended by the architects of the 1970 Constitution, the communal electoral system contributed substantially to the failure of democratic politics in Fiji.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-47
Number of pages13
JournalPolitics
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

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