SODELPA officials asked to give more assets info
By JYOTI PRATIBHA
Some political parties are believed to be being asked for further information required on their officials’ declaration of assets.. It is understood some declarations did not contain all the required information. The Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) has claimed that its offi cials have been asked to declare their assets again. Senior party member, Doctor Tupeni Baba, said SODELPA was in talks with other political parties to see how to respond to this request. It is understood that the Elections Offi ce had sought additional information as required by the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosures) Decree 2013. The decree sets out a modern and transparent process for the registration and conduct of political parties. It also requires accountability and transparency with respect to the funding and accounts of political parties. It says any political offi ce bearer must make a declaration of income and assets on behalf of themselves, their spouse and any children. It adds this includes total assets – including money and property – in Fiji and abroad – along with their business interests, directorships and gifts. Any liabilities must also be listed. It says any registered political party must provide details of all assets and expenditure, including donations. It says political parties may only be funded by membership fees and contributions from individuals and all sources of funding must be disclosed. Questions have been emailed to the Registrar of Political Parties, Mohammad Saneem, for a response to the SODELPA claims. No reply had been received by the time this edition went to press. National Federation Party president, Raman Pratap Singh, said their party had not received any further request for declaration of assets. “We are required by law for some declaration by the end of January which we have done. SODELPA may have been requested for it, but not our party,” Mr Singh said. Dr Baba said “We have been targeted”.” “We know fully their intention and each party is handling it the way they think is best.” He said that SODELPA was well prepared to respond to any requests by the Registrar. The Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry could not be immediately reached for comment on whether he or other party officials had also been asked for more information on the asset declarations.