Editorial comment – Unity, resilience and togetherness

People in line to cast their votes at the Salvation Army Polling venue in Lautoka. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

As a nation we have overcome many challenges.

The 2022 General Elections confirmed a change in the mood of the people.

It reflected what Fijians wanted.

History will confirm a large percentage of voters wanted change.

As we enter the second month of the year, we reflect on this.

We are reminded about numbers, the fact there was no clear majority, and the role of the kingmakers.

We are reminded about the emotional rollercoaster ride we all had to take as the kingmakers worked out where they were going to lean to.

The rest as they say, is history.

We have a coalition Government, uniting three political parties – The People’s Alliance, the National Federation Party and Social Democratic Liberal Party.

In his speech yesterday to members of Parliament as he opened proceedings for the 2023-2024 session, the President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere, spoke about unity, resilience and togetherness.

He made an urgent plea for the healing of divisions in the nation, and also in Parliament.

The past three years, he said, were difficult for all, however, Fiji rose to the challenges and demonstrated its resilience as a nation and one people. In the face of what he termed ’emerging challenges’, the President urged members of Parliament to “embody the collective spirit of resilience and resolve of our people”.

This, he said, would bring hope of a promising future.

“Now more than ever, we must be united as one nation and strengthen our resolve to work together to meet our collective challenges,” he said.

“We must continue to look after each other especially those less fortunate and the most vulnerable members of our society.”

We should be encouraged by the President’s call for unity.

It is important as our government charts a path forward.

Coming off the lows of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with a coalition held in place by kingmakers, a united front is critical.

There has to be a common understanding and appreciation of the differences that exist across parties for starters.

From the perspective of the Fijian, unity should bring about important changes in their lives.

It should be the catalyst for changes they expect.

In saying that, we are reminded about placing value on the three things the President spoke about – unity, resilience and togetherness.

We have faced many challenges together as a nation, from the destructive impact of natural disasters, to the pandemic.

We have also shared joy inched out by sporting victories for instance.

We live in a country far removed physically from the hotspots of the world, yet connected by air travel, and the internet.

We are witnesses to death and destruction daily in many countries around the world, a war in Ukraine, the uncertainty of the pandemic, conflict zones in the Middle East, and the impact of climate change.

Yet, right here, at home, as the President said, we have an opportunity to unite for a common cause.

We look forward to inclusivity, and look up to the powers that be, on both sides of the House, to work within set guidelines, to carry us forward confidently as a nation.

More Stories