People’s choice is paramount in this upcoming election – Qarase
Former Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase
Former Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase who is ineligible to contest the September elections said the people’s choice is paramount in this upcoming election.
Speaking to about 100 people in Qauia during the SODELPA campaign meeting, Qarase says people need to choose wisely either to choose what he calls dictatorship government or a democratic government.
Qarase is now actively campaigning for SODELPA and is appearing in a number of campaign meetings.
Meanwhile a question was raised by a member of the community whether SODELPA will continue with free education if it forms the next government.
Qarase replied that there is no such thing as free education in Fiji.
According to SODELPA, free education can never happen and it is not right to say that free education is provided.
Qarase questioned the members of the Qauia Community on who pays for the uniforms and lunch for the children.
He said free tuition fees are being provided, not free education.
The Former Prime Minister then said that people should thank the government for providing free bus fares, textbooks and tuition, but they do not believe that Fiji has free education.
Story by Watisoni Butabua
Land in Mind of Voters
Opposition parties appear to have the upper hand in the debate on land according to the latest Razor Research/Fiji Sun weekly poll.
In the 21st weekly poll, people were asked: Are opposition parties telling the truth about land?
Fifty-one per cent said yes, 16 per cent said no and 33 per cent were not sure. The poll shows that land is still one of the issues for the September 17 general election.
In the popularity stakes, Prime Minister and FijiFirst leader Rear Admiral (Retired) Voreqe Bainimarama and his party have hit the 80s as they cap off another good week of campaign. Mr Bainimarama has jumped from 79 per cent the previous week to 84 as Preferred Prime Minister. FijiFirst gained two per cent to sit on 80.
There is little movement with the other parties in the “pack of four”. SODELPA and its leader Ro Teimumu Kepa are running neck and neck with the National Federation Party and its leader Dr Biman Prasad on six per cent.
Fiji Labour Party and its leader Mahendra Chaudhry are tied with People’s Democratic Party and its leader Felix Anthony on one per cent.
AQELA SUSU suva
The Social Welfare food voucher assistance scheme was the main topic of discussion at the FijiFirst campaign meeting at Caubati last Thursday night. Party president Dr Jiko Luveni clarified concerns raised by people attending the campaign meeting who called for an increase in the value of food vouchers currently handed out to [...]
Cokanasiga to politicians: Leave RFMF out
The Minister for Defence, Joketani Cokanasiga, said the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) should not be used by politicians and political parties during their campaign.
Mr Cokanasiga said the RFMF had a role to play and politicians should talk of other things that would benefit the nation.
“Leave the RFMF alone,” he said.
Mr Cokanasiga said: “The RFMF is there to defend the Constitution and its role is provided for in the Constitution.”
Section 131 (2) of the Constitution says – “It shall be the overall responsibility of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces to ensure at all times the security, defence and well-being of Fiji and all Fijians.”
According to the Minister, that is the role of the RFMF.
In an earlier interview with the RFMF Commander, Brigadier-General Mosese Tikoitoga, he said whatever the result of the elections, their role will be to support the government of the day and whatever government the people chose.
The Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) leader, Ro Teimumnu Kepa, during the launch of the party manifesto said this to the RFMF:
“We are all of this country. You are our brothers and sisters, our relatives; our family. It is time to bring the family together. There is much to be proud of in your record of helping to keep peace in the world. But here in Fiji we need peace too; peace in its fullness. There must be reconciliation between the army and the people. You are here to serve them through their elected representatives in Parliament. That is where the national sovereignty lies.”
FiJILEAKS has been passed the following: “AG became very sick while on campaign trip which included Ba, Tavua and Ra. He was not present at Ra meeting on Tuesday. After Ba and Tavua meet, he became very sick and stayed back for two days at a Rakiraki resort. On Tuesday afternoon he was transported to Suva and around 11 pm admitted to Suva Private Hospital. Still admitted at Suva Private intensive care unit. Only close family members allowed.”