THE FIJI TIMES; BY Aqela Susu Wednesday, April 19 2017
THE National Federation Party will not compromise its principles and position in respect to coups, says party leader Professor Biman Prasad. His comment comes after the inclusion of former minister for infrastructure and transport in the FijiFirst government Pio Tikoduadua into the party.
He said NFP remained the only party in the country that never supported a coup and would never do so. “There is no compromise in the party’s position in respect to our opposition to the coups and our opposition to a government born out of the coup,” he said.
“We do not see any contradiction in what the party has always stood for and Mr Tikoduadua’s entry into the party does not change that long held and principled position of the party in respect to coups.
“Mr Tikoduadua was not even in Fiji when the coup took place. Yet he was a serving military officer, he remained in the military and he became a significant member of the civil service in the Prime Minister’s Office.”
Prof Prasad said since their meeting at the United Nations Roundtable a few years back, it was clear that Mr Tikoduadua wanted good, progressive, stable and a democratic Fiji.
“He shared the values of the NFP at that time, the principles on which the NFP stood. He has joined the party because he shares the party’s principles and the values and it is a common ground with his own thinking on where this country should go. “We have no doubts at all about welcoming him with open arms. We believe that the party must accept individuals with similar principles and
“It’s not about whether Mr Tikoduadua was a civil servant in the militaryregime. There are other civil servants there and there were other military officers and non-military officers who chose to serve as civil servants. “The definition of civil servants is that they remain the servant of the people and Mr Tikoduadua in my view and in the party’s view was a servant of the people of this country as a senior civil servant.” Prof Prasad said the party has been getting positive responses from many of its supporters after Mr Tikoduadua’s declaration of interest to apply to contest next year’s poll on a NFP ticket. “I know Mr Tikoduadua has a lot of support and there have been a lot of positive reactions from all groups of people, including many young people. “Having being a significant politician and individual himself, we look forward to him playing a very important role in the party between now and the election and after the election.”