Prime Minister and Fiji First Party Leader Voreqe Bainimarama is insulting the intelligence of the people of Fiji by labelling the National Federation Party as racist just because the Party champions the interests of the cane growers.
Speaking to FBC TV News on Wednesday night (26th October) the Prime Minister said his Fiji First Party would not form a coalition with another party for 2018 general elections because “their policies don’t align”.
He also stated that “that the National Federation Party now is not the same as the NFP of old” and furthermore said, “I would think that the NFP party now is a racist party that’s why they all in the cane fields because of the vote of the Indo-Fijians. Their policies are totally at the extreme nowadays.”
Nothing can be further from the truth. The Prime Minister, if he believes his warped logic must now answer the following: –
- Does he know that almost 30% of cane growers are Fijians of i-Taukei descent?
- Is he refusing to accept sound and sensible solutions proposed by the NFP to resuscitate the sugar industry and improve the livelihood of cane growers because he thinks upholding the interest of growers who comprise of 70% Indo-Fijians and who are descendants of the Girmitiya is racism?
- Does this mean that the Prime Minister who is the Minister for i-Taukei Affairs is a racist because the Ministry exclusively looks after the interests of our i-Taukei community?
- Does this also mean that the Prime Minister, who was Commander of Republic of Fiji Military Forces for 15 years, an organisation whose personnel are almost exclusively i-Taukei, is a racist?
- Does this mean that just because the elite arm of RFMF (CRW Unit) helped George Speight execute the coup in May 2000 to overthrow a Government led by an Indo-Fijian, make the Prime Minister racist because he was Commander of the Army?
- Does this mean that the abrogation of the 1997 Constitution and then Commander Bainimarama’s refusal to re-instate the Fiji Labour Party Leader as Prime Minister following the end to the hostage crisis in 2000, actions later proven in Court of Appeal to be in defiance of the rule of law was an act of racism?
- And does this mean that when as Commander, Bainimarama executed the coup to topple an i-Taukei led multi-party multiracial Government in December 2006, was yet again a racist act?
These are legitimate questions that the Prime Minister must now answer truthfully and he must do so by applying the same logic that he did in labeling NFP a racist party.
His political character and credibility now faces the litmus test.
Authorised by: –
Hon Prof Biman Prasad