All posts by nfp1

National Federation Party Condemns Electoral Decree Amendment

The National Federation Party condemns in the strongest terms, the amendment to the electoral decree issued last week with regard to who is “ordinarily resident” in Fiji to qualify to stand for elections.

The amendment has ruled out two of the party’s leading candidates from standing in the upcoming general elections, Ms. Makereta Waqavonovono and Mr. Jone Vakalalabure.

These two highly qualified Fiji islanders would have been two of the best parliamentarians to have served our country.

This is the calibre of Fiji islanders that our country needs to take Fiji onto another level of service to the public.

Yet the interim administration sees it fit to disqualify them for being away acquiring higher professional skills that would have served our country greatly through parliament.

The process of amending the decree last week was just as bad as the substance of the amendment.

The amendment was from the office of the Attorney General whose most senior lawyer was representing the defendants in litigation before the high court.

Litigation brought by Ms. Waqavonovono asking the court for constitutional and human right redress with regard to her eligibility to stand for elections.

And as we all know, the AG is also general secretary of a rival political party and one of the defendants in that litigation as Minister responsible for the Elections.

It is a matter of grave concern that a defendant in live proceedings, who happens to be AG as well general secretary of a rival political party and Minister Responsible for Elections and the Electoral Decree, be allowed to change electoral rules by decree, weeks away from the elections.

It is also very disrespectful to the Court.

The party also expresses great concern that while the matter of the litigation was live before a Judge of the high court, the Chief Justice signed the amendment decree as Acting President of Fiji.

The National Federation Party is not taking this issue of disenfranchisement by decree lightly. The party will be exploring its options further.

After eight years, the people of Fiji deserve, at the very least – free and fair elections. One that is free of interventions by decree from one of the parties contesting those elections.

 

Kamal Iyer
General Secretary

MORE CANDIDATES FOR NFP

The National Federation Party has today announced four more candidates to contest the September 17 general elections.

This brings to 45, the total number of candidates announced so far to contest the elections under the NFP banner. However, this number is being reduced to 43 following the promulgation of the Electoral Amendment Decree last week (Decree No. 26), stipulating residency period contrary to common understanding and past electoral legislations.

It is regrettable that this has resulted in the withdrawal of two of our competent and highly qualified candidates who have been penalized by this amendment Decree. They are Makereta Waqavonovono, a lawyer, former magistrate and former Director of Legal Aid Commission, and Jone Vakalalabure who has a Masters in International Relations.

Civil servants should stop doing government’s bidding

Senor civil servants are blatantly politicking via the media by doing bidding for Government whose leadership and ministers are contesting the elections under the banner of Fiji First.

The latest example of civil servants publicly indulging in politics was on “4 the Record” programme on Fiji Broadcasting Commission Television on Sunday night. The guests on the programme were the Permanent Secretary for Finance Filimone Waqabaca, Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji Arif Ali and Chief Executive of Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority (FRCA) Jitoko Tikolevu.

While responding to a leading question from a journalist on the panel, Mr Tikolevu said a reduction in Value Added Tax (VAT) would have little impact on the price of goods. Mr Tikolevu, in dismissing the issue of VAT reduction, went onto to say even an increase in VAT to 20% would be insignificant.

It is quite clear that Mr Tikolevu was trying to rubbish the National Federation Party’s promise to reduce VAT from 15% to 10%, that has been consistently advocated by the Leader and the Party for the last four months.

As a senior public servant, Mr Tikolevu should know his role is only to implement Government policies. Their role is to implement Government policies. And this includes any Government that comes into power after the September 17 general elections.

By commenting on a policy proposed by a political party, in this case explained in detail in the NFP’s manifesto, Mr Tikolevu has totally compromised the neutrality and independence of his position as FRCA Head as well as that of the Institution. He should have remained apolitical and completely refrained from making political comments. A ordinary civil servant is disallowed from even to be seen at political party meetings or gatherings as it is construed as showing support towards a political party.

FRCA is an Independent Institution. Unfortunately, Mr Tikolevu has given it a semblance of a political wing of Government and the Fiji First Party.

Also Mr Waqabaca commented that he was on the programme because of what he called “misleading statements about the economy”. Instead of politicking, Mr Waqabaca must tell the people of Fiji what is the real state Government finances and the proposal in the 2014 Budget to rake revenue through sale of State assets.

The NFP once again calls upon officers in all independent state institutions to remain apolitical at all times. We also warn that by indulging in political campaign, senior public servants are showing their political bias and tarnishes their credibility and suitability to hold similar senior positions following a change of government and restoration of democracy after the elections.

Kamal Iyer

General Secretary

NFP ANNOUNCES 8 MORE CANDIDATES IN SUVA

A former magistrate, a women’s advocate, a renowned academic and a senior corporate executive are amongst the latest batch of 7 candidates to be endorsed by the National Federation Party to contest the September 17 general elections. The latest announcement follows 6 endorsements in Ba and Lautoka over the weekend and brings the total number of candidates endorsed by the NFP so far to 37.

 

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NFP ANNOUNCES THREE MORE CANDIDATES IN BA

The National Federation Party has today announced three more candidates to contest the 2014 General Elections under the Party’s banner, bringing to 27 the official number of candidates announced so far. The announcement was made during a Party meeting at Ba Sangam Primary School Hall today. The meeting as attended by 60 Branch and village committee delegates.

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