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Nobody has ownership of democracy: Shameem

May 20, 2022 6:00 am

Shaista Shameem.

Political parties need to identify which spectrum of democracy they stand for.

This was stressed by the former Director of Human Rights Commission and University of Fiji’s Dean of Justice Professor Shaista Shameem during a political party’s panel discussion on human rights based approaches.

“The first thing to do is for political parties is to decide where on the spectrum of democracy they fit and once you figure that out, then every single policy of that party will be linked to how you define yourself within the spectrum of democracy.”

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Professor Shameem says nobody has ultimate ownership of democracy and various political party leaders historically have defined and practised democracy in their own way.

The former director of human rights says it is imperative for political parties to first identify which democratic scale they are on.

She adds parties can then look at Fiji’s national development plan which has not been revised since the pandemic period and incorporate their policies to suit their stance on various social issues.

The panel discussion was attended by Social Democratic Liberal Party Leader Viliame Gavoka, Unity Fiji Party Leader Savenaca Narube, Acting Party Leader of New Generation Party Varinava Tiko, Freedom Alliance Party leader Jagath Karunaratne and Fiji Labour Party representative Monica Rhagwan.