Pocket meetings to the fore in Fiji campaigns

Originally aired on Dateline Pacific, Tuesday 29 July 2014

 

Transcript

As campaigning steps up before Fiji’s election, the “pocket meeting” is king.

But political parties say even in small intimate gatherings they’re finding people are afraid to ask questions or express their views.

Sally Round went along to one meeting in the suburbs of Lautoka held by People’s Democratic Party candidate Vijay Singh.

VIJAY SINGH: A pocket meeting is where we get a small crowd, say ten to fifteen, to twenty people and we speak to them and we advise them and we share the views and we ask them questions to tell us what their views are, and tonight is this four pocket meetings in different places in Lautoka. So all of us leaders are distributed evenly everywhere.

SALLY ROUND: So how does it work, do you just turn up and people come and go?

VS: What we do during the day or probably give them notice at least four or five days, we give them small flyers and just them to advise ten to fifteen houses around the vicinity and we get to one venue so that we can talk to them.

SR: And are people generally welcoming this idea because three years ago meetings of three or more people were not allowed in Fiji?

VS: Yes that’s right, anything more than three people was not allowed and I think that was a great deception of democracy and people could not come out and they were in fear and even today they are in fear. Some people don’t come and they tell us ‘we are scared’ so we don’t get big numbers, so we do pockets.

SR: Why are they scared?

VS: I think they still feel the fear of the military and they’re still scared, and there’s coups, and what has happened in the last seven years, there’s people have been killed and everything was forced onto people by decree and they still haven’t come out of that.

SR: So this is a bit of a challenge, getting people to come along to these meetings.

VS: Very true, it’s a bit of a challenge getting people to the meetings. We have tried bringing big crowds at some stages but then we still find it difficult, they are scared but they will be standing in the corner far away listening but they won’t come to the core place of the meeting. The fear is still there, which is very sad.

SR: Will you have big rallies at all, is that in mind?

VS: Yes we will, once we have rounded up the pocket meetings, we have created little committees in every community where we go, and then we will utilise that committee and gather them at one place and make big rallies as the election gets closer.

Provisional voters roll released

Provisional voters roll released1

9:08 Tue Jul 29, 2014Taken from/By: GoogleReport by: Edwin Nand

 

The Fijian Elections Office has released a provisional list of voters for the September elections. Supervisor Mohammed Saneem says the list is based on the venues confirmed for voting. There are 1337 polling venues with 1987 polling stations. However, voters won’t have to go through tedious search process. The elections office has launched an SMS or texting service for voters to check where they’ll be casting their votes on September 17th. According to Saneem, people have to send their Electronic Voter Registration number to the number 5-4-5 and receive and automated reply with all the relevant details. The number runs on both Vodafone Fiji and Digicel networks and is a free service. A call centre can also be accessed on the number 5-4-5 to assist voters with any queries. An electronic copy of the voter roll can be bought for fifteen hundred dollars. – See more at: http://www.fbc.com.fj/fiji/21740/provisional-voters-roll-released#sthash.VMF3NrVn.dpuf

FLP and PDP support secular state

Tuesday, 29/07/2014

PDP Leader, Felix Anthony

The Fiji Labour Party and the People’s Democratic Party have stressed that they support Fiji to be a secular state.

Fiji Labour Party Leader, Mahendra Chaudhry said Labour has always advocated freedom of religion and people should not have any doubt on FLP’s policy on secular state.

Chaudhry said the party would like to see full religious freedom accorded to all citizens of Fiji.

When asked if the party is satisfied with the provisions of the 2013 constitution which promotes freedom of religion, Chaudhry stated that all previous constitutions had provisions for freedom of religion and so does this constitution.

PDP Leader, Felix Anthony said the party fully supports the idea to have a secular state.

According to the 2013 constitution, religion and the state are separate which means that the state and all persons holding public office must treat all religions equally, must not dictate any religious belief and must not prefer one religion over another.

The constitution also states that every person has the right to freedom of religion, conscience and belief.

It further said that every person has the right, either individually or in community with others, in private or in public, to manifest and practise their religion or belief in worship, observance, practice or teaching.

Story by Vijay Narayan, Dhanjay Deo and Semi Turaga

Fiji bullies Solomons

Fiji suspends code-share flight with Air Niugini

Tuesday, 29/07/2014

The Solomon Airlines has strongly condemned the action of the Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji for suspending its code-share flight with Air Niugini however the Fijian government stresses that it is ready for talks to break the impasse.

This came after the airline’s current Honiara-Nadi code share flights operated by Air Niugini were suspended last week forcing many passengers booked through Solomon Airlines to miss their flights.

In a letter to the Solomon Airlines, Fiji’s Permanent Secretary for Civil Aviation, Sharvada Sharma stated that given the breach of the Air Services Agreement and the suspension of services to Fiji by Solomon Airlines, any designated airline of the Solomon Islands will not be allowed to operate or sell services to Fiji from the Solomon Islands.

Solomon Airlines CEO, Captain Ron Sumsum said Fiji Airways has had every opportunity to code share with Air Niugini from Nadi to Port Moresby but has decided not to participate.

He added its approach to this entire situation can only be described as a ‘Bully Boy’ approach and one that they do not intend taking too lightly.

Attorney-General and Minister for Civil Aviation, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, said after the Solomons Government banned two successive Fiji Airways flights from Nadi to Honiara in breach of our Air Services Agreement, the decision was made to suspend all Solomon Airlines flights until the matter is resolved

Sayed-Khaiyum explained that the suspension includes selling seats on airlines designated by Solomon Islands as code share partners.

He said they regret the inconvenience to the travelling public but this action was triggered by Solomon Islands and the responsibility lies with Honiara to make the first move.

Sayed-Khaiyum reiterates that Fiji is willing to hold discussions to break the impasse, but he made Fiji’s conditions very clear.

Story by Filipe Naikaso

IMPORTANCE OF OPINION POLLS

By : Sachin Anand Balram
Andykam007@comcast.net

Every time I read the “Razor Research/Fiji Sun” opinion poll, I get shivers in my spine. The latest poll shows FijiFirst party leading by a large margin. It reveals that Frank Bainimarama is the most preferred Prime Minster getting polled in eighties percentile. Others lagging behind in lower than six percentage bracket. I am fully aware that “Fiji Sun “is the propaganda machine of Fiji First party. I have no doubt that the polling data and method of polling is skewed by fraud, mischief and meant to scare the opposition. The pollsters should be cross –examined as to how they arrived at those outrageous numbers.
In spite of all that, I still argue that polls such as one done by Razor/Fiji Sun should not be ignored by the candidates and their parties. It should not be shrugged off as piece of garbage. Voter’s opinion (no matter how rigged the polls are) should be paid attention to in a big way. The present poll shows voters preference towards Frank Bainimarama and his FijiFirst party in a large favorable way. He will win big unless the opposing parties can put to the voters some mind-blowing argument why Bainimarama should not be the Prime Minster. I have not heard of any good counter- arguments, as yet. However, it is not late. If the opposing party leaders have the drive, desire, determination and gumption, they can find few powerful issues and evidence that will create doubt in the minds of the voters not to cast their vote for FijiFirst party. Party leaders- let’s hear those arguments in some detail with specifics supported by clear and cogent evidence. Just by repeating over and over again that Bainimarama got into power by gun- trotting means and illegitimate method will not suffice. That he has has suspended the freedom of speech, press and assembly and so forth of Fiji people will not suffice, either. When he ascended to power by crooked method, the people of Fiji were mired in poverty, corruption, crime, unemployment, rising food prices, land and housing problems. Bainimarama stepped up, he quickly straightened the nation’s ship, hit on all eight cylinders and got to work. He did everything what his core strengths and beliefs inspired him to do. Granted- he used some abusive and high- handed manner in achieving his goals but so what? Over eighty percent of the voters still like him and think he has done a great job. Yes! Maybe, he has personally benefitted in numerous ways during his eight years of reign. But think! Name one leader of Fiji who did not benefit from his leadership position? Even late Ratu Mara known as the “father of new Fiji” did things for Lauans at the expense of other villages.
Hence, what needs to be taken to heart is that polls should give politicians an indication of popular issues and the mood of the voters. It should not be ignored. True leaders should find ways and means to prove that Razor/ Fiji Sun polls are dead wrong. Candidates can do it by persuading the voters that they have better ideas and programs how to run the country. They can do it by demonstrating to the voters that if voted into power, they can do hundred times better than the present dictatorship/oligarchy. If the opposing party leaders can take this approach, persuade the voters that they can work tirelessly for the benefit of the country to improve the standard of living of all the people then we should see a shift in polls. I suggest that the opposing parties should get together and pay for an independent polling company (there are many), to conduct an opinion poll every week. It is usually done over the telephone. We will then be able to see what the actual, true result will be. I bet they will not be surprised. The result will be similar to the one being conducted by Razor Research/Fiji Sun. Party leaders – it is up to you to prove that Razor/Fiji Sun poll is completely and absolutely wrong.

NFP Leader says they never said they will reinstate GCC

Sunday, 27/07/2014

Leader of the National Federation Party, Professor Biman Prasad

The Leader of the National Federation Party, Professor Biman Prasad said they have not said anywhere in their manifesto that they want the Great Council of Chiefs to be reinstated.

Prasad said they have only said that within the first 100 days in
government, they will be calling a meeting of the Chiefs and the head of Yavusa’s to discuss issues in relation to the itaukei administration and discuss issues about other provisions in the constitution within the parliamentary process.

While speaking at a party campaign meeting at Navo Mandir in Nadi, Prasad also made the party’s stand clear on the 2013 constitution.

Meanwhile, Biman Prasad has also confirmed last night that lawyer, Faizal Koya will contest the general elections under NFP banner.

Story by Dhanjay Deo and Gulsher Ali

Ex Fijileaks

FijiFIST Party: Fijifirst party candidate Nemani Bainivalu loses temper and assaults man in the Wainivula Church Hall: “O iko na luveni kailoma sega kemu qele”; Luveni turned blind eye to co-candidate’s violent rage!

Ex FDN

Kadavu chiefs are asking the right questions

July 25, 2014

Kadavu chiefs have welcomed a visit to Kadavu by a delegation from SODELPA as it gives them a chance to learn more than is covered in the radio news. They welcome Government initiatives to assist development in Kadavu but feel they’re in the dark about many things and question the way many laws affecting them have been passed without any consultation. One change which had been made without any consultation was the removal of FAB scholarships as a result of which many parents struggled to find the money for their children to go to university. The meeting at the village hall in Tavuki was attended by many of the chiefs of Kadavu but there were no reports of them saying they or their vanua supported SODELPA, as happens after Bainimarama campaign meetings. It will be interesting to see if Bainimarama can now visit Kadavu and answer the questions in the minds of Kadavu leaders after their meeting with SODELPA.

Qarase told the supporters that it is important that SODELPA wins the 52 percent of the votes, not only from the I‑Taukei but also from the non‑itaukei voters because the party can lead the country.

 

SODELPA aims to win at least 26 seats

Saturday, 26/07/2014

Former Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase

“We are aiming to win at least 26 seats in Parliament if we get 52 percent of the total votes cast in the 17th September general election.”

That was revealed by the former Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase to more than 60 people at a political party campaign by the Social Democratic Liberal Party in Nadera.

Qarase told the supporters that it is important that SODELPA wins the 52 percent of the votes, not only from the I‑Taukei but also from the non‑itaukei voters because the party can lead the country.

He said SODELPA can then invite other parties for a coalition.

Former Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase who is ineligible to contest the September election says the people’s choice is paramount in this upcoming election.

Qarase is now actively campaigning for SODELPA and is appearing in a number of campaign meetings.

Meanwhile SODELPA leader, Ro Teimumu Kepa has already said that they will form a coalition with Fiji Labour party and other political parties.

Story by Tokasa Rainima

 

The commissioner said he would not favour anyone, even if the accused was the prime minister

Fiji Times Online

Police promise probe

Nasik Swami
Saturday, July 26, 2014

POLICE Commissioner Ben Groenewald has assured Fiji he will investigate all complaints against government and police, including those who Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama previously said he would stand by.

Mr Groenewald said he would ensure justice to all those whose complaints had not been addressed, and he was ready to reopen cases where there was merit for further investigation.

He made these comments in response to People’s Democratic Party leader Felix Anthony’s statement challenging him to address human rights injustices allegedly caused by members of Fiji’s disciplinary forces.

Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama, on March 8 last year, said he would stand by his men, police officers or anyone else, who may be named in investigations in the brutal beating of two men shown in an online video. Quoted in media reports, he had said while people were speculating on who all were involved as shown in the footage and were saying excessive force was used, people should know that security personnel had worked hard to protect the citizens of Fiji from hardened criminals.

But the commissioner said he would not favour anyone, even if the accused was the prime minister, a politician or a police officer.

“If a person breaks the law, we will investigate and will be charged accordingly,” Mr Groenewald told The Fiji Times.

“It doesn’t matter who the person is. Whether it’s a police, politician or whether it is any person of the public, the same process will be followed and we will submit the case to the DPP.”

At a press conference yesterday, Mr Anthony also claimed he was beaten and tortured by police and military officers, among other civilians, and the force had failed to investigate the matter so far.

Mr Groenewald said he was aware of Mr Antony’s accusation.

“I saw the docket a week ago and the case was withdrawn because the complainant never submitted his medical report as was requested.

“I spoke to the divisional chief of CID in the West.

“He assured me that after many requests to the complainant to submit his medical report, he did not submit his medical report and the case was closed because of no co-operation from the complainant.”

Mr Groenewald said he was more than welcome to table the matter with Mr Anthony.

On the investigations into the alleged brutal beating of two prison escapees last year, he said he was only made aware of the case three weeks ago.

“I requested and indicated that the case has been sent to the public prosecutor and we have received the docket.”

Mr Anthony invited the commissioner to investigate not only the alleged beatings of the prisoners but also the beatings of citizens who were subjected to intimidation.

“So the Police Commissioner, I believe, has got much to do if he is to get recognition for the work that he is supposed to be doing in this country.

“We’ll wait to see how the commissioner will act upon complaints that have been made against this government as far as human rights abuses have gone in the country,” he said.

Mr Groenewald responded if there was concrete evidence or complaints by public that police did not properly investigate, they could approach them and “I will be more than glad to reopen any case if there is a need for that”.

//
//
          Powerful reassurance – Fiji Times Online

// // // //

Powerful reassurance

Fred Wesley
Saturday, July 26, 2014

The reassurance yesterday by Commissioner of Police Ben Groenewald that he will investigate all complaints against government and the police is encouraging.

Obviously a case in point is the video that went viral online, showing a group of men brutally assaulting two handcuffed men.

While the circumstances surrounding the video are sketchy, the images are disturbing and shocking.

It shows two men being brutally assaulted by members of the group who are seen using batons and a metal pipe.

Another man is beaten on the ground. Then a dog is seen attacking him.

The abuse of the two men is traumatic.

What appears on video is horrifying and will obviously take some time to digest and get over.

What is important now is the fact that Mr Groenewald has said he would ensure justice to all those whose complaints had not been addressed, and he was ready to reopen cases where there was merit for further investigation.

He was responding to a statement by People’s Democratic Party leader Felix Anthony challenging him to address human rights injustices allegedly caused by members of Fiji’s disciplined forces.

The reassurance by the commissioner should serve as a reminder of the importance of law and order.

It does stand to reason then that the people of Fiji will embrace the powerful words of the police force’s top man.

For the men and women in blue, this is a reminder of the important role they play in the mechanics of how our country eventually pans out.

What the commissioner needs is support from his officers and from the people of Fiji.

It is with this show of support that a strong and vibrant force can take shape. The force needs a solid foundation to build from.

For what it is worth, policemen and women are reflections of society and they carry the hopes and aspirations of people who believe in law and order.

They are like beacons of hope, ensuring there is a balance in society and in our lives.

They must have pride in the uniform they don and appreciate the fact that they are carriers of a torch that places righteousness on a very high plane. They are our last bastion of hope in the fight against crime.

They are pillars that our communities and our nation will lean on to move forward with confidence. To an extent, they help us live and enjoy our lives to the brim.

But with the power and authority they wield comes a great sense of responsibility.

We applaud the direction the commissioner is taking and encourage support for the cause.

The onus is now on each member of the force to do their best and to live up to the expectations of their leader and the people of this country.

……………………………

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No so long ago when the new Commissioner of Police called me personally to reassure me my complaints were being fully investigated and that his PA would be responding to my letter to him, I though it was a ‘breath of fresh air’ and reassuring.However, my complaints remains unresolved today and no updates have been received despite the personal assurance of the Commissioner.

The accused in my complaints is the Prime Minister and judging by the time the straight forward breach of the law has taken to be investigated, I’m not sure I will hold my breath to see if the rule of law in this complaint will be applied at all let alone equally.

My initial expectation that the new Commissioner would have a positive impact on the enforcement of the ‘rule of law’ equally to all citizens regardless of ones status is slowly but surely disappearing.

Mick Beddoes
Sabeto

 

 

 

Ex Coup 4.5

PictureGolden Point Resort in Ra where Khaiyum was kept for two nights

By VICTOR LAL

We can confirm that FijiFirst general secretary Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum is still in the intensive care unit at the top-class Suva Private Hospital. As revealed by Fijileaks, Khaiyum was taken ill in the western division. He was kept at the Golden Point Resort for two days. The resort’s owner is a supporter and financier of FijiFirst party. A tourist at the resort said Khaiyum was “shivering like a Fijian banana leaf from high fever”. Dr Mon Maung Moon from Tavua Hospital attended to Khaiyum and after two days at the resort he was transferred to the Suva Private Hospital. Sources inside FijiFirst said they were all kept in the dark and no communication is allowed with Khaiyum. The party sources say they are very nervous about his health and the ‘health’ of the party which Khaiyum had secretly registered as far as 2009 in preparation for the forthcoming September election.

BAG OF SURPRISES? FijiFirst Party President Dr Jiko Luveni has stated that she has encouraged several women to join the party and people will be surprised when they announce their candidates.
Luveni said women should not be intimidated if they want to run for parliament. She said the country has a constitution that encourages equality and a no discrimination policy.The FijiFirst Party is expected to announce 19 proposed candidates tomorrow: SourceFijivillage, 24/7/2014

Fijileaks Editor: While Aiyaz Khaiyum is being treated at the Suva Private Hospital, billed as Fiji’s finest private medical facility, his fellow-citizens are languishing in regime hospitals with not enough medicines, and told to even bring their own bed sheets and cutlery. We wish Khaiyum a speedy recovery, for his fate and that of his party must be decided at the September polls. The voters can’t wait to give him a dose of his own medicine at the polls.

Meanwhile, neither the regime’s propaganda rag sheet Fiji Sun nor its western correspondent Jyoti Pratibha nor the paper’s ‘Coconut Wireless’ reported that Khaiyum had fallen ill during FijiFirst’s campaign in the western division. Typically, it ‘fed’ the readers with regime propaganda while Pratibha and other Sun free chows were seen ‘feeding’ themselves with food supplied by FijiFirst party.

Denarau is a good example of development where everyone benefits.

Khaiyum counting on iTaukei being dumb

July 23, 2014

Without consolidation into a continuous block with beachfront Denarau would be pockets of mangrove of no use to developers

Khaiyum’s claim that he has protected iTaukei land ownership better than before is based on his claim that he has banned land swaps like the one at Denarau. Under this swap small parcels of native were swapped for Crown land. This was done so that there would be viable sites for tourism to be leased to developers. Ratu Timoci Vesikula has explained all this in the Fiji Live report on the link below. As a result of this swap the NLTB were able to “put all native lands together on a beachfront”. Without the swap Narewa landowners would have had scattered plots of mangrove rather than a consolidated block with beachfront on which hotels could be built. Khaiyum hopes this will be too hard for iTaukei minds to get around, no doubt assuming that everyone would have as much trouble following at his so-called ‘boss’. Denarau has brought a lot of money to Narewa landowners and this is what Khaiyum would outlaw in the name of protecting their land rights. Denarau is a good example of development where everyone benefits. Landowners get good rent and Nadi has a magnet drawing tourists and giving jobs to a lot of people from Nadi, not just in Denarau but all around the area.

Fijilive July 23, 2014 Why we changed land ownership: Rt Timoci

Permanent Secretary Filimoni Waqabaca becomes involved in politics by implying there will be no change after the election and says they will stick to the 2014 Budget ignoring the fact that he may have new masters.

No need for mini-budget:Finance PS

07:25 Today

NewsReport by: Ritika Pratap

The Finance Ministry doesn’t anticipate the need for a mini-budget post the September elections. Permanent Secretary Filimoni Waqabaca says they will stick to the 2014 Budget. Waqabaca says if there’s any need for additional funds, it will be re-deployed from the 2014 budget.-“We stick to the plan that the government had laid out through the budget and there is no intention at all to go for a mini-budget and we remain firm the fact that we will operate within what we had announced and we will stay within the deficit that was announced by the PM and minister for finance during the budget announcement.”_Waqabaca says the Ministry has always sustained its operations … and the record level of tax collection has boosted their confidence.“We also believe that given the pick-up in economic performance and economic activities, we are confident that we will move towards the revenue target that we have announced of over $2b.”Waqabaca made the comments in an interview with FBC News -

See more at: http://www.fbc.com.fj/fiji/21640/no-need-for-mini-budgetfinance-ps#sthash.dMous4bq.dpuf

Proposed One Fiji Party anticipates registration

Proposed One Fiji Party anticipates registration

17:29 Thu Jul 24, 2014Taken from/By: FBC News – fileReport by: Rita Narayan

The proposed One Fiji Party is awaiting the official registration of the party by the Supervisor of Elections. Proposed Chairman and party leader, Filimoni Vosarogo said they are looking forward to introducing themselves and what the proposed party stands for. Vosarogo said Section 23 of the proposed party’s Constitution has been attracting attention from the public. This relates to party leadership and it states’ the democratically elected Leader of One Fiji Party shall be determined according to the party candidate who receives the highest number of votes compared to the other party candidates after the 17th September 2014 general election.’Vosarogo explained this section was birthed out of their desire to fully respect the true meaning of democracy by taking heed of the leadership choice of the majority voters. He added it also takes care of the very real possibility where announced party leaders can end up having less number of voters as compared to one or more members of their own party. Vosarogo said the proposed party’s Constitution creates an incentive and a fair platform for other aspiring candidates of the party who wish to take up the leadership role to work hard for it and earn it by appealing to the most number of voters as possible in the upcoming election. The Suva lawyer said the proposed party’s Board and founding members chose him after he qualified as the cohort leader who collected the most number of signatures to support the registration process that required at least 5000 signatures.

- See more at: http://www.fbc.com.fj/fiji/21632/proposed-one-fiji-party-anticipates-registration-#sthash.6TNbn04n.dpuf

Qarase says people need to choose wisely either to choose what he calls dictatorship government or a democratic government.

People’s choice is paramount in this upcoming election – Qarase

Thursday, 24/07/2014

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

NEMANI DELAIBATIKI
SUVA

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.

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

The hot issue is food vouchers………. Life has improved so much under Franks Dictatorship.

POLL – Food vouchers top campaign discussion

 

POLL – Food vouchers top campaign discussion

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 [...]

“The RFMF is there to defend the Constitution and its role is provided for in the Constitution.”

Cokanasiga to politicians: Leave RFMF out

maika bolatiki
suva
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.”
Feedback: maikab@fijisun.com.fj

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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.”