March 29, 2013
Skruff Satire - Big Surprise: Bainimarama ‘confident’ of election victory
Fiji’s military strongman/comedian Voreqe Bainimarama says he will contest democracy-restoring elections next year. Somehow he keeps a straight face while doing so.
Don’t think of him as a ruthless dictator who seized power at the point of a gun. Even though he is.
Fiji’s last experiment with democracy ended abruptly on December 5th, 2006, when the parliament was disolved by the Fijian president Ratu Josefa Iloilo after a ‘meeting’ between he and Bainimarama. This was one of the closing acts of a coup initiated by Bainimarama a month or two earlier.
But that’s all in the past. Now, finally, after many delays, there will be new democratic elections in Fiji. Bainimarama was optimistic about his chances, saying “I am confident that I will win … if not I won’t be standing”, “I don’t stand to lose”. Really – he actually said that.
Skruff contacted several other potential candidates for the role of Prime Minister who would only talk to the paper on the condition of anonymity. One commented that “Of course I think the elections will be fair. It would be grossly unjust to suggest otherwise – just because members of the media and any open dissenters were arrested and imprisoned on flaky trumped up charges in the course of the 2006 coup is no reason to assume these elections will be anything other than free and open”.
A colleague agreed, saying “Yeah, totally. Completely free. And there’s no reason to think Commodore Bainimarama might not respect the result. I mean sure, he staged a coup that installed him as supreme ruler last time he didn’t like the outcome of democratic process, but to do it again? Chance in a million”.
Both men, however, indicated they would not be contesting the election for ‘personal reasons’, and requested that Skruff ask Commodore Bainimarama to, please, not hurt their families.
Accompanying the Commodores announcement was the release of an independent study by the Pacific Theological College indicating that the Fijian people felt, for the most part, that Commodore Bainimarama was “a top guy”, and “the kind of person you could have a kava with”, and praising the fact that “his door was always open”. This study is totally reliable, because it has ‘independent’ in the name. The fact that freedom of assembly and freedom of press remain absent in Fiji should not undermine the study’s conclusions or credibility.
Meanwhile, the global community watched with a tired expression and filed the whole thing under “seriously, you can’t make this shit up”.