Ex Croz Walsh’s Blog

Last Saturday’s Razor poll showed two major changes from earlier weeks. The People’s Democratic Party founded by trade unionists jumped from one to eight percent and the PM’s party Fiji First dropped from 66 to 57%. The Sun’s political editor Nemani Delaibatiki attributed the PDP rise to uncertainties surrounding the Fiji Labour Party with the outcome of Chaudhry’s sentence still uNknown, and the FF’s fall to a spike the week before when the PM lauNched his blue bus campaign.

Several of my Fiji friends and former colleagues doubt the reliability of the Razor Polls, inferring that the results are rigged.

Razor and the Fiji Sun are owned by C.J. Patel which raises questions of the poll independence. I have no way of checking on these accusations but I can’t see why anyone would run a faked poll right up to the elections when their accuracy will be known, and possible duplicity exposed. For a few weeks perhaps, to influence public opinion, but not for the whole time.

Another friend pointed to how an earlier polls conducted by Tebbutt Poll were frequently well out with their predictions, and this of course is a “given” with with all polls but the Razor polls to dte show very clear results which raise only two questions: 1. Did those questioned fear giving their honest opinions? 2. Has Razor fudged the results?

I shall continue to record and report poll results for some more weeks, and then attempt an analysis of findings, trends and reliability.


NFP veteran confident of party ticket in poll bid

NFP veteran confident of party ticket in poll bid. Labasa businessman, Chand concentrates on north voters for a seat in parliament

Well known Labasa businessman and vice-president of the National Federation Party (NFP) Parmod Chand has confirmed that he has applied for candidacy.
“I have applied to be a candidate for the NFP and I will wait for the party’s selection committee.”
He said he is concerned about the current state of the economy. The cause, Mr Chand said was due to lack of investment.
“NFP is looking at a five per cent growth with two years in government.”
Speaking at Coqeloa on Tuesday night, he said he would concentrate his efforts on the entire Northern Division because of what he claims are lack of development and good infrastructure.
Details of NFP’s policies will be made known once the manifesto is released next month, Mr Chand said.
“Some of the broad policy issues that I would like to highlights are cost of living, health and education, infrastructure, sound economic policies and enhance investment, focus on agriculture and sugar industry and have plans to revive the rice farming.”

The ‘unstoppable political juggernaut’ just ran out of gas.

The UFDF (United Front for a Democratic Fiji) said today that FBC’s announcement that the proposed Fiji First has deferred its registration because it is still trying to collect signatures, suggests Bainimarama’sblue bus and Fiji Sun poll specialist Nemani Delaibatiki’s ‘unstoppable political juggernaut’ just ran out of gas. Or perhaps the blue buses wheels fell off.

The proposed Fiji First party is not obligated to register within the ‘strict’ 28 day provisions of the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosures) Decree 2013, that the regime forced the established parties to follow last year. However, as the authors and sponsors of the draconian Political Parties Decree, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum and Voreqe Bainimarama have clearly failed to negotiate their very first ‘political’ hurdle as they finally come face to face with the same restrictive and unreasonable demands they placed on others.

The UFDF said the FBC’s Apisalome Coka reported yesterday quote: – The proposed Fiji First political party has deferred registering with the Elections Office. The proposed party which was to have registered yesterday is still collecting more signatures unquote.

The UFDF said this poor showing of support is despite the added advantage Voreqe Bainimarama & Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum had of:-

  • an additional 435 days since February 13th 2013, when the NFP filed its registration
  • the full resources of government behind them
  • the daily barrage of media coverage of Voreqe Bainimarama’s registration teams itineraryover the past 25 days since he launched his registration campaign on March 30th
  • Breaches of the decree that are now the subject of complaints to the police.

The UFDF said if the proposed Fiji First, with all its resources, media hoopla and propaganda, cannot register within 28 days, then the Fiji Sun columnist Nemani Delaibatiki’s quote ‘unstoppable political juggernaut’ just ran out of gas. Or perhaps the blue buses wheels fell off.

The UFDF said this failure of the proposed Fiji First demonstrates two very important things for the people of Fiji to note:-

Firstly: The credibility of the Fiji Sun poll. On April 12th it suggested Voreqe Bainimarama was the preferred PM at 82% and his proposed party Fiji First was the preferred political party at 62%. It also suggested on the 19th of April that the member parties of the UFDF collectively had just 9% support?

If, as the poll suggests, the 3 political party members of the UFDF collectively have just 9% support, then the 24,246 signatures they collected in support of their registrations would presumably represent that 9%. Therefore it is not unreasonable to expect that the preferred proposed Fiji First party that allegedly enjoys 62% support should be able to front up with 167,028 signatures.

Certainly the high 82% preferred Prime Minister and 62% preferred party predictions by the Fiji Sun have not translated into ‘real tangible’ support.

It seems from the deferment of their registration that Fiji First is struggling to just get 5,000 signatures at this very early stage of pre election preparations and given that the UFDF members have not yet launched their campaigns, and collected their 24,246 signatures just through normal branch worker activity, without any media hype says a lot about who really has the support.

The UFDF said that the 3 member parties not only managed to collect their 5,000 signatures and register in time, they submitted 9,246 extra signatures, and could easily have helped Fiji First out by giving them 5,000 signatures so they could register and still have 18% more signatures left over?

Secondly: This was yet another very clear example of the regime not being up to the task and failing yet again to ‘WALK ITS TALK’ and is basically unable to deliver on the same draconian requirements they impose on others.

Authorized By: UFDF

Mr Raj says he would treat any complaint seriously.

Fiji media watchdog says he’ll act if complaints received

Updated at 7:29 pm on 24 April 2014

The chairman of Fiji’s Media Industry Development Authority says he will act on concerns that the Fiji Sun is flouting a government decree as soon as he receives an official complaint.

Ashwin Raj has defended his decision to censure Fiji TV for broadcasting so-called hate speech.

Earlier this month MIDA ruled Fiji TV had breached the Constitution and the Media Decree for airing certain comments by a provincial chief during a visit by the regime leader.

Opposition politicians have complained that the Fiji Sun has run a number of articles which report on the election campaigning of Rear Admiral Frank Bainimarama, despite him not yet having a registered party.

Mr Raj says he would treat any complaint seriously.

“And it’s something I’m looking forward to the official complaint so that I can act on it and I most definitely will. Here’s a critical issue raised by a politician and I’m going to look into it as soon as I receive an official complaint.”

The chairman of the Media Industry Development Authority Ashwin Raj.

One Hundred Sands has defaulted on a $US1.5million ($F2.73m) note which was due to the tribe in February 2014.

Tribe quits casino deal

Felix Chaudhary
Thursday, April 24, 2014

SNOQUALMIE Tribe, the American Indian tribe that had invested in a project to build Fiji’s first casino, says it pulled out of the deal because of issues with the developer, One Hundred Sands.

Jaime Martin, the communications and public relations officer for the Snoqualmie Tribe, said the developer was granted an exclusive licence to build and operate casinos in the country, had defaulted on payments due to the tribe, which resulted in their decision to end their involvement in the Fiji project.

“Since 2011, the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe invested with One Hundred Sands to develop a casino experience that would provide first-class entertainment and provide a positive economic impact for the people of Fiji,” he said.

“Unfortunately, One Hundred Sands has defaulted on a $US1.5million ($F2.73m) note which was due to the tribe in February 2014.

“The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe has been patient and co-operative throughout this project.

“We have reached out to One Hundred Sands seeking repayment of this loan but have yet to receive payment.

“We wish the people of Fiji and the project much success.”

One Hundred Sands chairman Larry Claunch said after the deal with the Snoqualmie Tribe fell through, he managed to secure funding through other means.

“We have secured other investors through Tim Manning from New Zealand,” he said.

“Tim Manning is One Hundred Sands investment partner, president and CEO.

“The project is moving forward quickly,” he said.

I’ve got a problem and if I don’t say anything about it

MIDA defends decision to censure Fiji TV for ‘hate speech’

Updated at 2:47 pm today

The chairman of the Media Industry Development Authority in Fiji has defended his decision to censure Fiji TV for broadcasting so-called hate speech.

Earlier this month MIDA ruled Fiji TV had breached the constitution and Media Decree for airing certain comments by a provincial chief during a visit by the regime leader.

The chief, Ratu Timoci Vesikula, is reported to have made remarks around Rear Admiral Frank Bainimarama’s stance on indigenous matters.

The Media Authority’s chairman, Ashwin Raj, says it’s in his remit to intervene.


“Because of the timeliness of it, and the seriousness of it, in the sense that we are approaching national elections and if that is going to be the tenor of public discourse then I’ve got a problem and if I don’t say anything about it, then I’m obviously sleeping on the job because these things have a tendency to do an irreparable amount of damage.”

Ashwin Raj says the media should be free to do its work but exercise reason and follow the media code of ethics

He will not confirm or deny the report that soldiers were present on his campus to force one of his staff from the campus.

Heavy hand of regime censorship confirmed

April 23, 2014


On 4 April Freedom Blogs revealed that on Monday the 31st of March FNU lecturer Pita Waqawai had been sacked for revealing the facts about the ethnic composition of scholarships at FNU.  It was reported that two soldiers had escorted Mr Waqawai out of the University compound where his termination letter was delivered to him by the Manager Human Resources of FNU, Poasa Koroitamana.  Now Fiji Village have confirmed that he has been sacked, but no-one can say anything more about the report.  FNU Vice Chancellor can say nothing.  He will not confirm or deny the report that soldiers were present on his campus to force one of his staff from the campus.  He knows this is a job for the police, so why can’t he deny this happened.  His silence is confirmation of the original report.

Fiji Village: 23/04/2014 FNU senior lecturer sacked for misusing facilities