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

Picture

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.”

Don’t vote for any other Party

Old politicians promoted racial disunity: PM Bainimarama

From FIJI TV

SUVA, Fiji —The FijiFirst Party came out strong Tuesday on the issue of race politics.

In a rally organised in Rakiraki , Party Leader Rear Admiral (retired) Voreqe Bainimarama argued that past politicians have often promoted racial disunity.

“Don’t vote for any other Party that will remove this constitution or will amend it especially those parties that don’t have an agenda like SODELPA. I am talking about PDP and Labour and NFP, they really don’t have any reason why we should bring back the GCC, unless of course they are sucking up to the SODELPA people,”

Bainimarama told the masses, that making Fiji a Christian state and the return of the Great Council of Chiefs, which has been a leading campaign message of rival political Parties will only promote racial disharmony for Fiji in the future.

He said the 2013 Constitution protects the rights of all Fijian citizens .

“When i came into power, I said that 2006 will be the end of all this racial disunity because I was looking forward to this , the constitution, that will bring about equal citizenry. A few people will not like it lets force it down their throat to like equal citizenry, Bainimarama argued.”

“Lets not be faint hearted and stand strong .Lets tell those who are promoting racial disunity to move aside if they will not tolerate racial harmony. It all boils down to Love and that is what our constitution is promoting.”

Bainimarama argued that Parties like SODELPA had a chance to lead Fiji into a united nation following the events of 2000 but failed to do so when they got into power in 2001.

“We all know what happened then when they were in power, they became divisive in their policies with regards to race.”

“ They started to churn the racist mill among the I-taukei community up until i started to speak up against it. I had been speaking to them about it then. I told them to take away those policies. The 2000 upheaval was still fresh in the minds of many. My soldiers died, their deaths are not in vain , their deaths were not to promote racial disunity in Fiji.”

Fiji’s economic agreement with EU could come at disadvantage: trade organisation

Updated 3 hours 0 minutes ago

A Pacific trade lobby group says Fiji will be disadvantaged by its newly ratified economic partnership agreement with the European Union.

Fiji formally ratified the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement last week, seven years after its initial signing, allowing free access in the EU for all its products.

Fiji announced it had made the deal official because it needed to protect exports and jobs.

But Pacific Network on Globalisation coordinator Maureen Penjueli says Fiji has been strong-armed into ratifying a deal that does not recognise the needs of the developing economy.

“We think this is a very bad deal for Fiji,” Ms Penjueli told Pacific Beat.

“The rules have become increasingly difficult for countries to sign onto deals that are developmental-friendly.

“It’s really all about losing the policy to and sacrificing pretty much Fiji development policy state, that’s the cost of signing the interim EPA.”

She says Fiji’s ratification of the IEPA is a bid to raise its profile on the international stage, but will be detrimental to its domestic economy.

“There has been no recognition of the very fact that we are indeed small island countries, our economies are really fragile, there are very specific characteristics of our economies, that have now been taken into consideration in negotiating an interim EPAs if you like, with a bloc like the European Union,” she said.

“The decision to ratify is really to save market access and we’ve given up policies too, so these are very difficult decisions for small island countries and the European Commission certainly hasn’t made it any easier, nor has it demonstrated any flexibility in negotiations with island countries.”

Papua New Guinea is in a similar agreement with the European Commission, meaning the EU now has partnerships with the Pacific’s two largest economies.

Ms Penjueli says this reduces the likelihood of the EU signing comprehensive economic agreements with other Pacific island nations.

Party talks of policies

Nasik Swami
Thursday, July 24, 2014

THE National Federation Party says it understands the difference in opinions, as not all chiefs agree with the idea of reinstating of the Great Council of Chiefs.

Party leader Biman Prasad said if in government, the party would work through the devolution of powers and financial resources to revitalise the Fijian administration as the primary tier of governance for iTaukei land and natural and cultural resources.

“… and within 100 days of being in government, will convene a national forum for traditional high chiefs and heads of yavusa (clan) in order for our iTaukei leaders to determine themselves the future of the Fijian administration,” Mr Prasad said.

He said the party would ensure that Fiji became a nation with quality cultural and social life that would be celebrated with iTaukei and Hindi languages, music, arts, folklore, emblems, theatre, traditional oratory speech and dance.

“NFP policies will be consistent with international conventions and will always be guided by the wishes of our indigenous people,” Mr Prasad said.

Ex Coup 4.5….. Evidence of more assets slowly appearing

Evidence of more assets slowly appearing

Another Bainimarama asset: New house for Mary Bainimarama .

So we ask the question again – has Frank Bainimarama and Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum declared all their assets?

The answer continues to be NO and there is enough evidence to show this.

Take this house on Milne Road. It was bought by Frank Bainimarama as a Mother’s Day gift for wife, Mary, but wasn’t declared in his Fiji First Party assets.

As said before, the pair have more stashed away then they’ve admitted so, yes, pigs do fly.

Commissioner Ben Groenewald confirmed the brutality video posted online remained under investigation.

Groenewald: Brutality video under investigation

Shalveen Chand
Thursday, July 24, 2014

POLICE investigations into a video showing the assault of recaptured prisoners which sparked an international outcry are continuing, despite earlier reports to the contrary.

Police Commissioner Ben Groenewald confirmed the brutality video posted online remained under investigation.

He said earlier comments on the matter referred to advice from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions concerning possible charges against the person responsible for uploading the video.

He said no conclusion had been reached yet regarding the allegations concerning the video.

The video was captured by someone who was at the scene of arrest of prisoners who had been on the run. It showed men who appeared to be members of the security forces beating the prisoners and to some extent sexually degrading one of them.

The commissioner said once the investigation was completed, it would be given to the DPP to decide if charges were to be laid.

Police Chief of Operations, ACP Rusiate Tudravu had earlier said the case was closed and he would not be making any further comment.

National Federation Party seeks Sugar Farmers.

Plea for support to revive sugar industry

Siteri Sauvakacolo
Thursday, July 24, 2014

CANEFARMERS, canecutters, lorry operators and mill workers have been urged to rally behind the National Federation Party and give it a chance to revive the sugar industry for them.

Party candidate Jagannath Sami made the plea during the party’s manifesto announcement in Suva on Monday.

Mr Sami said a lot had been said about the sugar industry in Fiji — its problems, its politics and its uncertain future.

“It is hard to imagine Fiji without the sugar industry. In one way or the other it touches many aspects of our society, more particularly at the grassroots level.

“It is estimated about 20 per cent of Fiji’s population, or about 170,000 people rely directly or indirectly on the sugar industry for their income and livelihood.”

Mr Sami claimed that the industry had declined in cane production by 50 per cent from 3.2 million tonnes in 2006 to 1.6 million tonnes in 2013.

He claimed that sugar production declined from 310,000 tonnes in 2006 to 170,000 tonnes last year as well as the decline in milling reliabilities and efficiencies.

Human rights protected under the constitution verses Decrees

 

Waqavonovono wants court to decide on her eligibility

Tuesday, 22/07/2014

NFP proposed candidate Makereta Waqavonovono

A proposed candidate for the National Federation party, Makereta Waqavonovono has made an application in the Suva High Court to determine her eligibility to be nominated as a candidate for the September 17th General Elections.

According to the Electoral Decree, a person is eligible to be nominated as a candidate for election to Parliament only if the person is ordinarily resident in Fiji for at least 2 years immediately before being nominated.

The decree further states that a person is deemed to be ordinarily resident in Fiji if that person has been out of Fiji for official Government business or duties or has been holding an official Government position.

Waqavonovono who is being represented by Tupou Draunidalo and Faizal Koya made an application based on the grounds that this is invalid because it unlawfully discriminates against the political rights of citizens and infringes on their rights to a fair and free election because it restricts their options and they will not be able to vote for the candidates of their choice.

It is understood that Waqavonovono was out of the country for studies for one year.

The matter was called before High Court Judge Justice Kamal Kumar today.

The Chairperson of Fijian Electoral Commission, Supervisor of Elections and Attorney General and Minister for Elections who are defendants in this matter are being represented by the AG’s office.

They indicated to the court today that they will make an application to strike out the matter.

The court will hear both parties on Monday.

Story by Praneeta Prakash

 

The reason for the coup…… Frank was facing prosecution for his crimes.

 

Qarase was plotting to remove Ratu Josefa Iloilo and investigate me – Bainimarama

Tuesday, 22/07/2014

Former Prime Minister and FijiFirst leader Voreqe Bainimarama

FijiFirst leader Voreqe Bainimarama said he took over the Laisenia Qarase led government in 2006 because of the racial differences being promoted by the government.

Speaking to about 800 people at the Ra Provincial ground earlier today, Bainimarama recalled the day he appointed the caretaker government in 2000 which later won the election in 2001 led by Qarase.

Bainimarama said he thought that the former SDL led government would move away from creating racial differences which led to the events of 2000 but that did not happen.

He added that he did advise the former SDL government to take away the racial differences and he told them that his soldiers sacrificed their lives during the events of 2000 in trying to take away racial divide.

Bainimarama said after his advice to the government, Qarase decided to conduct an investigation on Bainimarama for speaking against the government.

They were then called in by the late former President Tui Vuda, Ratu Josefa Iloilo for a meeting.

Bainimarama said in that meeting he then revealed to the late former President that Qarase was plotting to remove Ratu Josefa Iloilo just after two weeks of becoming the President of Fiji.

Bainimarama then stressed that for the country to move forward Fiji must move away from racial discrimination that has prevented the growth of our country.

When contacted by Fijivillage on this issue, Qarase refused to comment.

Story by Aliki Bia

 

Choose Wisely: Qarase

litia cava
suva

 

Former Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase says people need to choose wisely and make one important decision – either to choose what he calls dictatorship government or democratic government.
He spoke at a Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) campaign meeting at Qauia Kindergarten Hall in Lami last night.
Mr Qarase was referring to the leadership and economic status of the country for the past eight years.
“Our economic status for the past eight years is very weak. This is highlighted with regards to the rate of unemployment, poverty and inflation,” he said. Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has strongly disputed Mr Qarase’s claims on the economy.
The PM says his Government has improved economic growth and reduced the net deficit.
Questions were raised in the meeting in relation to education scholarships and national debt.
Mr Qarase said that during his leadership, scholarships were being divided into two; Multi-ethnic and Fijian Affairs Board (FAB).
Close to 150 people attended.
litia.cava@fijisun.com.fj

SODELPA says does not condone racial talk on FB

farisha ahmed
suva

SODELPA does not condone derogatory racial comments on social media, its media manager Sainiana Radrodro says.
Mrs Radrodro was commenting on exchanges on the SODELPA (Social Democratic Liberal Party) Facebook page involving SODELPA supporters and those of other parties.
She said what was posted on social media sites by their supporters was beyond their control.
Mrs Radrodro said, “our officials do not condone racial derogatory comments.
“Facebook … people go there to express their frustration, so we cannot control what they say.”
She said the comments might have been made by SODELPA supporters, but in general, no one could control what was on Facebook because it was a free site and did not get edited as in mainstream media.
“We respect what other races have contributed,” Mrs Radrodro said.
“We all have equal rights and they have a right to call Fiji their home.”
She said people were still frightened to speak out in the media so they went to Facebook and other social media sites to take out their frustration.
She said it was something no one could control since everyone had a freedom to speak and “we have to accept it”.
“We are trying to bring a common understanding between our supporters to respect other races and see how much they have contributed and as well as suffered because of all the coups.”
“All we are asking is respect and recognition for indigenous people for what belongs to us, but we would not ask for what is not ours.”
She said it was unfortunate that such remarks were being made.
“But we have to see that Fiji is big enough for everyone and we wish to make this understandable to our supporters to respect everyone,” Mrs Radrodro said.
Feedback: farisha.ahmed@fijisun.com.fj

An application by the State to have the hearing in September was dismissed.

Court grants early date

Shalveen Chand
Tuesday, July 22, 2014

FORMER prime minister Mahendra Chaudhry’s hopes to contest the September general election have been kept alive with the Fiji Court of Appeal granting the Fiji Labour Party leader an early hearing date.

The appeals court will hear the case on August 7. Chaudhry’s appeal is against his sentence and conviction for violating the Exchange Control Act.

Chaudhry’s counsel Anand Singh presented a letter to court from the Fijian Elections Office confirming the date when nomination of candidates must be filed.

An application by the State to have the hearing in September was dismissed.

Justice Suresh Chandra said the appellant, Chaudhry, had until July 30 to file his submissions and the respondent, the State, had until August 6 to respond.

The hearing will take place over the following two days, after which a ruling is expected on notice.

Chaudhry’s conviction has rendered him ineligible for the general election and if his conviction stays until the nomination day, the 72-year old’s chances to get back into government could be over.

According to the dates released by the Elections Office, the Writ of Elections will be issued on August 4. Voter and party registrations close on the same day as well.

The nomination day for candidates is August 18 and the National Candidates List will be out seven days later.

Chaudhry was fined $2million which he has paid but is yet to repatriate close to $A1.5m he is keeping in banks in Australia for which he has until the end of the month.

The ratification may prove extremely costly in the long term for Fiji’s development.

PANG warns against Fiji’s ratification of IEPA

From PANG

News
Mon 21 Jul 2014

Topics
Fiji
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SUVA, Fiji—- The Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG) has expressed concern that the government of Fiji has announced its decision to ratify the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (IEPA).

The decision comes even though Fiji is fully aware of the contentious toxic issues contained within the IEPA such as export taxes, the absence of a development component and its potential impact on Fiji’s ambitions and aspirations to express its economic self determination.

PANG has always argued that the Economic Partnership Agreement is against the fundamental self determining developmental ambitions of island countries of the PACPs.

“Ratification follows the unbalanced pattern of EPA negotiations. Fiji’s decision to sign the IEPA back in 2007 was made to ensure market access for sugar export. Now, seven years later the European Commission is again imposing deadlines that leave Fiji with little choice but to ratify. The European Commission has shown scant interest in the regional negotiations having suspended Comprehensive Negotiations at the end of 2013 – cornering Fiji into this decision. The decision by Fiji to ratify the IEPA is in PANG’s opinion a decision made under duress, Fiji simply had no choice but to ratify the IEPA or lose market access to the European Union – this is not a win-win situation, said PANG Coordinator, Maureen Penjueli.

She accused the European Commission for its strong arm tactics forcing many ACPs including Fiji to sign and ratify EPAs which do not favour development and are likely to affect regional integration agenda by this decision.

“The European Commission has always stated that the EPAs are about development, now 10 years of negotiations it is clear whose development we are talking about. The EPAs are about Europe securing market access for raw materials for its own development. Everyone following negotiations of the EPAs is fully aware that the value of EPAs has been declining due to the erosion of export preferences, the elimination of duty free market access to the European Union market for Fiji and Palau which comes into effect in October 2014, and the removal of sugar production quotas in 2017.

“The Fiji government, like many other ACP countries, are faced with the tough choice imposed by the European Commission of either ratifying bad EPAs or lose market access which could affect livelihoods and key industries such as sugar, fish, garments and processed foods. The decision to ratify the IEPA by Fiji comes at a great cost – losing the policy tools that many industrial nations have relied upon and sacrificing future development policy space, said Penjueli.

“Unless the Fiji government is able to re-negotiate the contentious toxic issues contained within the IEPA in the Comprehensive EPA negotiations the ratification may prove extremely costly in the long term for Fiji’s development.

Penjueli said Fiji’s decision to ratify may also affect the regional ambition of progressing Comprehensive EPA negotiations as it looks like Europe may have gotten what it wants from the region which is the two large economies – PNG and Fiji.

Airline true profit hidden under the unreported costs and definatly much less than $17.2million

Airline profit
Dr Wadan Narsey, Suva
It was initially quite reassuring to read (Fiji Sun, July 18, 2014) that the Fiji Airways is reporting “record profits of $17.2million” for six months and that the key driver of this was the 10 per cent higher load factor across the whole network, with four per cent more passengers and five per cent more sectors, all used in a “much more efficient way”.
But it was not reassuring to be told that this profit figure did not include the Sydney “hard landing” costs of $8.6million, and the “release of aged management accruals and one-off items like the introduction cost of the first A330”.
In other words, the real profits “in the hand” for the six months was much less than even $8.6million, although we are not told how much in reality as no costs were given to latter two exclusions.
Readers would then be further worried when told by the current CEO that Fiji Airways “was not in good shape back in 2013, with a lack of leadership and strategy and a rather dysfunctional management structure”.
This statement is quite contrary to the immense hype that the public was inundated with by Government ministers, the Board chairman, and the previous CEO (Pflieger) who bought the new Airbuses and disappeared before they flew a single commercial trip.
I hope that Mr Pichler’s performance as CEO will speak for itself when the “underlying” profit trends do become a reality in the long run, without any “one-off” events reducing the actual “profits in hand” which are certainly nowhere near $17.2 million.
He and Fiji taxpayers do not need the kind of deceptive hype that Fiji has been subjected to for several years before his arrival.
But while he is in the media, can Mr Pichler inform us shareholders in Fiji Airways,
(a) what percentage of the increased load factor and increased passenger traffic does he attribute to the new colours and the allegedly unique tapa designs painted on the planes?
(b) what did all that “rebranding”, also hopefully “one off”, eventually cost Fiji Airways, reducing actual profits further?
(c) is Fiji Airways still making any profits from the discounted fares on his monopolised domestic routes and how long will these discounts last?