May 24, 2013 08:52:47
Fiji’s Political parties that have already registered for the 2014 elections need to fully comply with the Political Parties Decree or else they will get deregistered.
This was confirmed to FijiLive by Registrar of Political Parties Mohammed Saneem.
“It is under the decree if they do not declare their assets and liabilities they be deregistered,” Saneem said.
Saneem said the Decree is clear and all requirements need to be followed.
Parties that have registered include Fiji Labour Party, Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) and the National Federation Party.
Meanwhile FLP leader Mahendra Chaudhry has confirmed that they will comply however it will be up to their officials on the decisions they will make regarding the declarations of their assets.
SODELPA and NFP have also stated that they have no problems with declaring their assets.
The three parties now have two weeks to declare their assets and liabilities to the Registrar of Political Parties.
By Mereani Gonedua
PM reminds Key
Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama meeting new home owners in Votualevu, Nadi. Photos: ministry of information
By Maika Bolatiki
The Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has reminded his New Zealand counterpart, John Key, that Fiji will have free and fair elections in 2014. This was the Prime Minister’s reply yesterday when told of PM Key’s comments on Radio Tarana of New Zealand. In the interview Mr Key said: “We are ready to work with Prime Minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama if he wins the 2014 elections, however the win should be free and fair.” The Prime Minister added: “Fiji will surely have fair and free elections in September 2014 and it is them that have to change their perception of Fiji’s roadmap to democracy.” The Prime Minister told his NZ counterpart that the Government was currently working on the new constitution that would see Fiji have fair and free elections. Elaborating on the new constitution, he said the legal team responsible was going through the 1093 submissions and confirmed there were quite a few ideas to consider. Commodore Bainimarama, when asked to comment on iTaukei landownership, said, “iTaukei lands and freehold lands owned by Fijians will be safeguarded in the new constitution.” “No one can take away land from the iTaukei people and this also applies to freehold lands owned by Fijians.” He said they would take their time in completing the new constitution and there was no rush as they wanted to make the constitution the best ever for Fiji. However, he confirmed that elections in 2014 will not be affected.
Comply or get deregistered: Saneem
Political parties have protested the requirement of the Political Parties decree for office-holders to declare the assets and income of their adult children.
This requirement is not only unprecedented and unreasonable it surely conflicts with the kind of rights we should see set out in the Bill of Rights.
So let’s see what the Sayed-Khaiyum Bill of Rights says.
“24.–(1) Every person has the right to privacy, which includes the right–
(a) to confidentiality of their personal information;”
Of course, this right has to be read in the context of other provisions of the draft constitution. And we don’t need to go any further than the next paragraph.
“(2) A law may limit, or may authorise the limitation of, the rights set out in subsection (1).”
In other words, the right to privacy is worthless. Any law can take it away and no reason needs to be stated.
Bainimarama can’t understand why the entire iTaukei community is worried about the protection of their customs and land under the draft constitution. Bainimarama has a lot of work to do if he wants to convince us that the Constitution protects iTaukei land and customs.
|Hardhead: Litiana Loabuka|
Bullying and double standards showing up Fiji’s regime leader, Frank Bainimarama, and his family, yet again.
In the same week his youngest daughter, Bernadette Bainimarama, was outed for sucking up taxpayer dollars by free riding to France with the official delegation to pick up the new A330 plane, we can also reveal his eldest daughter, Litiana Loabuka, is a big, fat bully.
Litiana Loabuka is the chief executive officer of the Fiji Sports Council; C4.5 readers will recall it’s a job she got under dubious circumstances.
Loabuka, who is known for throwing her weight around, has intimidated Fiji TV into giving her a public apology for something very minor.
During the live coverage of the Coca Cola games on Thursday just over a week ago (May 16), the station’s commentator, Satish Narain, criticised the “loud music that was being played on the PA system during races” saying “CEO Litiana should do something about it.”
|Bully: Like father like daughter|
Bainimarama’s daughter took offence and raised hell with Fiji TV on Monday.
The same day, a Litiana signed notice was put outside all Fiji Sports Council premises in Suva banning all Fiji TV staff/crew from entering the stadiums.
Fiji TV was forced to apologise to regain access and ran the following statement on its Tuesday night bulletin.
“Fiji Television Limited apologises to the Fiji Sports Council for the adverse comments made against the ANZ Stadium facility owners’ during last weeks Coca Cola Games. Team Leader Sport – Satish Narain made adverse remarks against the Fiji Sports Council regarding loud music being played during the races last Thursday. Narain apologises sincerely to the Sports Council CEO Litiana Loabuka and also to the council for the comments he made against her and her organisation.”
|Narain: Asked Litiana to turn music down|
In January this year, Bainimarama himself won an apology from Fiji TV after it ran a personality competition in which he came second.
Fiji TV subsequently changed the result of the text vote to give Bainimarama the winning Personality of the Year award stripping it from the winner, Premila Kumar, of the Consumer Council. (see C4.5 story January 14. 2012 http://www.coupfourandahalf.com/2012_01_08_archive.html)
Coupfourpointfive’s story at the time showed the hundreds of texts that supposedly came in for Bainimarama were from two regime cell phones.
This blog also notes that while it was easy for the Bainimarama’s to wrest apologies from Fiji TV, the regime has failed to take to task its mouthpiece, the Fiji Sun, for ‘fabricating’ a story out of an interview with Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum.
Earlier this week the paper ran a retraction titled Media Release: No warning to proposed youth party – attorney general.
Yet despite the admission: The front page story of today’s Fiji Sun – “Register first, AG Warns Youth Activists, only three can” is inaccurate, and worse, contains outright fabrications,” there has been no move by Khaiyum to punish the paper as he is quick to do with Fiji TV and Fiji Times.
Clearly, there is one rule for the regime and its supporters and another for the rest of Fiji
Regime Leader’s Petty Remarks
Born: 03/10/1960 Married to: Kitiana Likuceva Sila (Toga, Rewa). First wife was Nanise Tavui (Nasegai, Tavuki, Kadavu) passed away in 2007. Children: 2 boys and 1 girl Former party: Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua WORK HISTORY 2007- current: Multilateral and Regional Trade Consultant. 2006 – Assistant Minister for Trade and Commerce. 2004-2006 – Trade Policy Adviser, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. 2004 – Chief Assistant Secretary (World Trade Organisation) -International Economic Affairs and External Trade, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade. 2000-2003 – Counsellor Fiji Embassy, Brussels- EU/ ACP Trade, WTO and Multilateral Institutions. 1999-2000 – Chief Assistant Secretary (Director) World Trade Organisation-International Economic Affairs and External Trade, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade 1995-1998 – First Secretary, Trade and Economic Affairs, Fiji Embassy, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1995 – Principal Assistant Secretary (Aid Co-ordination), International Economic Affairs and Trade, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade. 1993-1994 – Senior Industrial Relations Officer- Public Service Commission 1985 -1991 – Head of Department Language, Ministry of Education- Ratu Sukuna Memorial School, Latianara Secondary School and Nasinu Secondary School 1983-85 -Teacher Vunisea Secondary School.
From student hunger striker to diplomat, trade negotiator. That’s Pio Tabaiwalu.
By ROSI DOVIVERATA
Who is this man taking on a key role in the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA), in the countdown to the September 2014 elections? SODELPA general secretary Pio Tabaiwalu has a career spanning student activism to teaching to diplomat/trade negotiator. And then there was politics. Mr Tabaiwalu was voted in as general secretary this year as SODELPA was formed as a replacement for the former Soqosoqo ni Duavata ni Lewenivanua (SDL) party. He had just been elected an assistant minister in the SDL-led government when it was ousted in the 2006 takeover. Where does he come from? Mr Tabaiwalu was born and raised in Navutulevu, Serua. However, according to the iVola ni Kawabula (VKB), he is originally from along the coast at Komave, Nadroga. At Marist Suva Street and later Marist Brothers High School, he was taught to be a studious reader. “I read a lot and out of the reading, it opened up the world for me. I saw pictures of diplomats and politicians and I wanted to be like that,” Mr Tabaiwalu said. This desire was bolstered when he entered university. The University of the South Pacific set the platform for this ambitious young man. “University taught me how to think critically,” he said. “It taught me the basics of being an analytical thinker. Get information, disseminate, analyse and make an opinion.” A philosophy Mr Tabaiwalu lives by still today.
The late 1970s was an era of decolonisation in the Pacific, and USP students were politically active. Mr Tabaiwalu remembers: “We used to march in the streets of Suva to protest against things happening in Rhodesia to Zimbabwe, the nuclear tests. We went out there showing our concerns. “Political activism in university was very strong, we even stood up for allowances.” After graduating in 1983, Mr Tabaiwalu led at least 25 USP students on a month-long hunger strike. This was in response to the then Alliance Government’s failure to offer teaching positions to graduating students after encouraging them to take up teaching.
“That was my first political fight at the establishment (under Ahmed Ali),” he said. “We won our case with the help of the Fijian Teachers Association.” Mr Tabaiwalu was posted to Vunisea Secondary School in Kadavu. He later found out from a senior education officer that his first posting was supposed to be to the more sought-after Queen Victoria School in Tailevu. After eight years in teaching, Mr Tabaiwalu was offered a scholarship to do a Masters in International Relations and Diplomacy at the University of Southampton in England. He graduated from there in 1993 and was one of Fiji’s first to hold such qualifications in that field. Before joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs he was part of the pioneering team of the Fiji College of Advanced Education at Nasinu, Suva. He naturally became a trade officer with Foreign Affairs. After a year, he was posted to Malaysia as first secretary. After the George Speight coup in 2000, the interim Government wanted experienced officers to go to Brussels. This was Fiji’s European centre for diplomacy and trade negotiations. “Under Ambassador Isikeli Mataitoga, I was the representative of Fiji to the World Trade Organisation. “I became very proficient in trade matters. “
BACK IN SUVA
After four years Mr Tabaiwalu returned to government service in Suva. He was director of World Trade Organisation matters. He worked on regional trade agreements with Pacific islands countries. “We were the ones that started the Melanesian Spearhead Group trade agreements so I’ve worked the region quite well. “These were the years when Fiji started to open up markets and we were the initial negotiators of it so we mastered the roots. “ A job offer from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat was hard to resist. Mr Tabaiwalu saw it as an opportunity to expand into regional work. “I enjoyed the work, a good learning curve. I started to develop my skills, trade knowledge and trade work. The six-year contract was cut down to two years. Even a hike in salary did to deter him. Mr Tabaiwalu had his mind made up to contest the 2006 general elections. “I told my family, there is money and there is an aspiration to do something. “I came to that point in life – I thought I would do well in politics. I saw the line-up and I knew I had a good chance, so I applied for the communal seat in Serua under the SDL ticket.” Mr Tabaiwalu won convincingly.
He was appointed Assistant Minister for Trade. Adi Sivia Qoro (named to be president of the proposed People’s Democratic Party) was Trade Minister. “I thought, perfect! Until the Bainimarama coup. I was told to vacate office in a month. “Some of us lost a lot. I had bought two extra properties to invest in the kids. I lost both, one in Vunakece and one in Bayview Heights. I lost both of them immediately because I couldn’t service the loans, so I’m left with one. “So all that sacrifice, out of sheer hard work; this is what the coup does to the careers of people. “After all your work, all your career choices and all that you did to build up the security of your family and the whole thing just collapses – from all that back to zero.“ But because of his considerable experience in trade negotiations the Forum Secretariat offered Mr Tabaiwalu consultancy work. “Somehow the Lord has been good. And it’s very well paid and I’ve done a few already for the Forum and also for the Fiji Government. “Now I’m project manager/adviser for a global environmental fund for climate change, until 2014. So that’s what kept me going.” As general secretary for SODELPA, he says that’s all voluntary work.
For young people who aspire to be politicians, here’s what Mr Tabaiwalu has to say: “It can be a very risky career. Get a steady career first.”
People’s rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly continued to be restricted under military rule.
Police and security forces faced allegations of torture and other ill-treatment.
The rule of law and access to justice were undermined as lack of accountability was rife and impunity prevailed in cases of past human rights violations