The National Federation Party says the Chief Executive Officer of the Fiji Competition and Consumer Commission (FCCC) Joel Abraham should immediately resign following his public display of blatant political bias towards the current Government.
Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad said Mr Abraham told Fiji Broadcasting Corporation news that those having pocket meetings with people were lying about reducing the cost of living.
Professor Prasad said Mr Abraham, who hasn’t had the courage to name the (provisional) candidates and the political party, was obviously referring to NFP since it is the only party that has in the last 14 months publicly announced it will reduce the cost of living by removing VAT from 15 basic food items as well as reducing duty on them and other selected essential goods.
“Mr Abraham has totally compromised the neutrality and independence of his position as well as that of the Institution. He should have remained apolitical and completely refrained from making political comments. An 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”.
“Recently even owners and operators of higher education institutes owned by religious and cultural organisations were warned by the Ministry of Education to refrain from showing support to any political party. While this is wrong, we ask whether the rules are different for the likes of Mr Abraham”.
“He is paid by the taxpayers through Government funds allocated to FCCC. Yet he chooses to campaign for the current Government by maligning others under the guise of his so-called public consultations”.
“Instead of telling the people why the FCCC unable to reduce inflation by ensuring there are lower prices for basic food items, he is twisting their queries by attacking us. This is symptomatic of a thoroughly incompetent and politically biased person who unfortunately heads a body that is supposed to protect our people”.
“The FCCC is supposed to be an Independent State Institution. Unfortunately, Mr Abraham has given it a semblance of a political wing of Government and the Fiji First Party. His office should be more important and thoroughly independent of any interference, politicization or political involvement”.
“His comment, which is a campaign statement is also intimidating voters. He is basically accusing us of making false promises. Who is he to judge our credibility? Its obvious people would have asked him whether cost of living could be reduced. Instead he makes a political statement”.
“If Mr Abraham wants to behave like a politician, he should resign his position and contest the general elections and tell them why the cost of living cannot be reduced despite it being the number one concern of 50% of our people”.
“The NFP once again calls upon officers in all independent and statutory state institutions to remain apolitical at all times. Simply, in Mr Abraham’s case, he should put up or shut up”.
Therefore, Mr Abraham, who has blatantly shown his political bias, should resign so that he can campaign freely for the current Government and the Fiji First Party without tarnishing the credibility FCCC”.
Professor Biman Prasad