Link: Pacific Islands Report
Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Fiji’s United Peoples Party Chooses Dissolution
Members told to join other groups to promote multiracial polity

By Indrani Krishna

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Jan. 28, 2013) – Fiji’s United Peoples Party (UPP) has been wound up. In a statement signed by Mick Beddoes, party vice president and acting general secretary Margret Rounds and executive members Mike Campbell, Seraphina Mock and George Hicks, the UPP said it will not be re-established, but has encouraged all its supporters and members to join Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewevanua (SDL), Fiji Labour Party (FLP), or National Federation Party (NFP) as direct individual financial members.

In an interview with FijiLive following the announcement, Beddoes said he has not decided on the party he will be joining adding that he will be making an announcement soon in that regard.

He said in encouraging members to join other political parties, the UPP will be keeping with its beliefs in promoting multiracial politics in Fiji, a position they refused to compromise on following the 1987 coup and the end of the Alliance Party.

By joining the other parties as direct members, the UPP says supporters will effectively help to alter the ‘DNA’ of these parties ethnic mix through a more natural process that in time would hopefully yield a more ‘multiracial’ structured political entity, which in turn would encourage a meaningful shift in policies and objectives to properly reflect its increasing multiracial membership.

In the statement, Beddoes said the UPP was grateful and appreciative of the loyalty and dedication of the members and supporters of the party over the many years.

In particular Beddoes said, he was humbled and thankful to his constituents for their confidence in him by electing him twice to Parliament in 2001 and 2006.

The UPP statement said that although it was by comparison a small political party, its contribution in terms of Fiji’s national politics was equal to that of the major parties.

The UPP said that the minority community will always have an important role to play in fostering improved relations among all of the people of Fiji.

"Although the challenge ahead of us may seem insurmountable at times, we need only reflect on the risks and challenges that our forefathers faced as they journeyed to the unknown islands of Fiji in order to establish a place that we now all call home."

Beddoes told FijiLive that "at the time of winding up UPP did not own any assets."

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