Elections and Freedom

By National Federation Party Leader Biman Prasad

Highly Questionable

The decision to recruit members of the public, as Presiding Officers and Assistant Presiding Officers is highly questionable and an unusual practice.

Every general election since 1972 has seen civil servants manage polling stations. September 17, which is polling day is a public holiday. Surely we have more than 14,000 civil servants who can work as presiding officers and their assistants. Why are civil servants being passed? Does it mean that the Elections Office does not trust the civil servants to do this work?

A multiracial party

By NFP President Tupou Draunidalo

The National Federation Party is a genuinely multiracial party. Since its inception in 1963, the NFP has always put national interest above everything else. Perceptions that it is a Indian based party are far-fetched.

The NFP has never espoused race based polices, preached or practiced racism. From 1968 until the coups of 1987, the NFP attracted many prominent members of all communities who make up our multi-ethnic, multicultural and multi-religious country.

Youth, Women & Elections

By NFP President Tupou Draunidalo

(continued from last week: Excerpts of her speech at NFP Convention)

Promotion of youth and women

As both, a woman and a youngish one – I have a lot to commend the NFP. The party has had many women members and group leaders. And the party has always sought more members and participation from these two groups.

We are hopeful of attracting very many from this sector to contest the upcoming elections under the NFP banner.

NFP: A Party Of Principles

The following are excerpts of the speech by National Federation
Party’s first i-taukei and second woman President, Tupou Draunidalo at the NFP Convention on 29th March

Opposition to all military coups

We have all lived under and experienced life under a military government, on and off since 1987.

We all know that these unelected and dictatorial governments – answerable to no one but their armouries – restrict our basic freedoms – of speech, association and religion; they discourage local and foreign investment; and they weaken and destroy important institutions of state.

A Party of vision

The following opinion are excerpts of a speech delivered by lawyer Tupou Draunidalo at the National Federation Party’s 50th anniversary celebrations on 7th December 2013.

It is another great honour for me to speak at a party function, especially one commemorating 50 years of service to Fiji. NFP, the party of Messrs A D Patel, S M Koya, Jai Ram Reddy, Balwant Singh Rakka and Harish Sharma

Regressive and draconian decrees

Free, fair and credible elections is a pre-requisite to parliamentary democracy and good governance.

The National Federation Party has made two submissions to this effect to the Electoral Commission, on 14th February and again on 24th February.

Following the first meeting, the Commission invited the Party to point out draconian provisions of Decrees that the NFP believes are not conducive to a fair electoral process.

NFP President Opinion

By Raman Singh
NFP President

“We will not do so with arrogance. We will not do so by lying about the past or the future for that matter”. – Voreqe Bainimarama, 3rd February 2014, while speaking at Chinese New Year Celebrations

But the very opposite is the truth of what Voreqe Bainimarama described will be the conduct of his government in the lead-up to the elections. Bainimarama and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum are unashamedly misleading the people of Fiji by saying that the NFP is part of an election coalition with other parties of the United Front for Democratic Fiji.

Obstacles to a credible election: NFP

By NFP PRESIDENT RAMAN SINGH

Denial of Electronic Copy

Last Saturday (Fiji Sun 1/3) Electoral Commission Chairman Chen Bunn Young stated that legislation in place disallows political parties from obtaining an electronic copy of the National Voters Register.

He is also reported as saying that the advice from the Solicitor-General’s office is the basis of the Commission’s decision. The Party therefore questions the independence and neutrality of the Commission.

The Electoral Commission is an independent body solely responsible for the of free, fair and credible elections.

NFP: Comments tarnish credibility

BY NFP PRESIDENT RAMAN SINGH

Suppression of information

The Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum’s comments that a stolen laptop contained an electronic copy of the National Voters Register including analysis of statistical data like “including division by age, gender, distribution etc.” proves that Government has been deliberately suppressing this extremely vital information from political parties despite official requests for the release of an electronic copy of the Register.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum’s comments in the Fiji Sun (Tuesday 25th February) also demonstrate that Government has been deliberately withholding this critical information to place its proposed political party in an advantageous position while feeding scraps to political parties in the form of bulky hard copies of the National Voters Register. This in itself is not a level-playing field and undermines the conduct of free and fair elections.

Regressive and draconian decrees

Free, fair and credible elections is a pre-requisite to parliamentary democracy and good governance.

The National Federation Party has made two submissions to this effect to the Electoral Commission, on 14th February and again on 24th February.

Following the first meeting, the Commission invited the Party to point out draconian provisions of Decrees that the NFP believes are not conducive to a fair electoral process.