Beat this: Fiji TUC creates massive new political party
In January, the Fiji Trades Union Congress (FTUC) decided that the only way to ensure the law of the land recognised workers’ rights to join a union of their choice, bargain collectively and as a last resort take strike action was to form their own political party and contest the elections Fiji’s military regime has promised to hold next year. Older readers may remember that’s how the Labour Party started here.
The military dictatorship responded by changing the law on the registration of political parties, raising the number of members required from 128 to 5,000 (they also raised the cost of registration and banned serving trade union officials from holding office in such parties.) The announcement that the FTUC-backed People’s Democratic Party has passed the threshold with a thousand members to spare is quite an achievement.
In a country with a population of under a million, 5,000 members is quite a high bar. In the UK, it would mean you’d need over a third of a million members just to register – more than any of our political parties currently has. The PDP becomes only the fourth party to be allowed to register in the four months since the new rules were introduced.