“It is likely to be confused with or mistaken for FijiFirst. FijiFirst is the only political party with two words in it, with the word ‘party’ not in it and with the word Fiji in. FijiFirst is the political party which has its name also as the logo. FijiFirst connotes or signifies that the party puts Fiji first. The other words has the country of Fiji first and its people, the Fijians. The Proposed OneFiji seeks to portray this idea while the philosophy behind this idea may not be exclusive to any political party. It is the manner in which this idea is manifested in the name of a political party that is the issue. The logo of the proposed OneFiji party only had “OneFiji” and the rainbow; this manner, was very similar to how the FijiFirst had been laid out. OneFiji is put as one word similar to FijiFirst, and the beginning of the two words (one and Fiji) are capitalised as in FijiFirst. Furthermore, the word ‘One’ in the name OneFiji party is similar to the word ‘First’. Colloquially, everyone regards or equates the word ‘First’ to be one or number one. In this instance the voter could be misled to believe that FijiFirst and proposed OneFiji are the same. Accordingly we object to the registration of the name OneFiji party and its logo OneFiji.” Khaiyum to his hand-picked Supervisor of Elections poodle and first time voter Saneem
BEYOND BELIEF: First he secretly registered the internet domain Fijifirst in 2009, later he objected to original Fiji1st Party and now the serial thief Khaiyum is crying foul over ONEFIJI party's registration application
ONEFIJI Party to Saneem: No political party (Fijifirst) should have monopoly of an idea; throw out Khaiyum's objection, and go and consult Oxford English Dictionary about the meaning of FIRST and ONE!
The ballot papers filled with numbers and without names or logos will not cause any confusion to voters during election, says the registered officer of the proposed One Fiji Party Sitiveni Kalou: “The Ballot paper will not contain party names, symbols, or even candidate names, so there is no chance of confusion under those factors. As we are sure the FijiFirst Campaign will be clear and concise in its delivery as well. No political party has a monopoly and should not be allowed to have a monopoly of an idea, as ideas are innovations in nation building which should be encouraged and promoted. Any number of political parties may not have ‘party’ in their names (if they all perceive themselves more as a movements, for example), just as a number of parties do have them most probably because they consider themselves as a party first and foremost. Any number of political parties may have two words in their names; just as a few have three words in theirs. In fact, if a number of associations find one word that reflects their reason for being; then they should be permitted to do so...One Fiji perfectly reflects our ideology of the uniqueness and oneness as a society and nation, and has nothing to do or to be confused with those of the objectors. Kalou said the names were different and had different meanings where FijiFirst connotes or signifies that the party puts Fiji first. “First in the Oxford dictionary means-Coming before all others in time or order; earliest”. “Whereas One Fiji connotes or signifies the promotion of a single, unique, focused, and united Fiji. He said “One” in the Oxford dictionary means “A single person or thing; just one as opposed to any more or to none at all; single.” He adds “One and First do not mean the same and cannot possibly cause any confusion; ‘First’ is who came ahead of others, while ‘One’ is by itself and always will stand alone. “FijiFirst may be meant to connote putting Fiji as a nation, or Fijians as a people, first as they claim. But it ends there. “One Fiji is about the uniqueness of Fiji and Fijians as well as their oneness; how they came to be, how they are, and how they should be as a people, as a society, as a nation,” Kalou said. He said One Fiji connotes how the members see Fiji now and in the future; the choice of words and construction are deliberate and essential to the name and The rainbow represents their break from the past or the end of the old ways of seeing and doing things, and the promise and the seedling represents the birth of the One Fiji movement and realization of the promise. “The Party is only the vehicle for the movement, hence the absence of the word “Party” from the logo. “The acronyms and/or abbreviations are different: The acronyms for One Fiji are “OFP”. The acronyms for FijiFirst is definitely not “OFP” He has also highlighted that the symbol is the word FijiFirst and a variant of the national flag. Kalou also stated that their logo is OneFiji which is a variation from the rainbow and the budding flora. “In conclusion, the objection registered with your office by FijiFirst should be dismissed based on the argument and response above; and the following: (a) Similar objections made to the FijiFirst registration petition were dismissed by the Fijian Elections Office, so precedence has already been created by the Fijian Elections Office. (b) The Proposed One Fiji Party constitution states the official name of the Proposed Party is “One Fiji Party”; so on that fact alone the objection is in error, and is addressing a non-issue; as the official party name contains three words and not two.
CIVIL SERVANTS TO FIJIFIRST CANDIDATES: Dr Brij Lal latest to join district commissioners to stand in election; it just reveals they were never neutral when they came forward to prop up dictatorship in Fiji
Pio Tikoduadua, Joeli Cawaki and Laisenia Tuitubou have resigned from their top civil service jobs (which they were given as a result of the 2006 coup) to contest election for the FrankFirst Party. Why were they not included in the list of candidates announced last Friday? Was it just so they could suck on the civil service teat a few days longer, or was it to try to make the FrankFirst team look less military? Who do they think they’re fooling?
VOTE RIGGING? Fijileaks receives complaint from military personnel saying Military Police have been going around to soldiers houses to collect their voter registration cards and have taken them to QEB!
The RFMF personnel set to vote in one polling station and all might be forced to vote for former army chief and FFP leader Frank Bainimarama
“A couple of people have told us that they were threatened, couple of cars had stones thrown at – obviously this is the kind of thuggery that the other political parties and their supporters engage in." Fijifirst Party general secretary Aiyaz Khaiyum to Fiji Broadcasting Commission News; http://www.fbc.com.fj/fiji/21534/fijifirst-vehicles-vandalised
“I took a passenger to Vuci Nausori and after dropping the passenger – when I was returning to Suva – a group of i-taukei boys approached my vehicle and damaged the back screen – because I have the FijiFirst party logo there. I did not stop the vehicle because I was alone and it was night time.” -
TELLING PORKIES: 'If I am nominated by a political party then I will contest', says Pio Tikoduadua; truth is he resigned to join Fijifirst Party despite being sacked three times by his un-elected boss Bainimarama
If I am nominated by a political party then I will contest the general election on the 17th of September. Those were the words of the outgoing Permanent Secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister, Pio Tikoduadua after he resigned from his position today. The former military colonel who started at the Prime Minister’s Office in August 2009 said he is looking forward to other opportunities. Tikoduadua is expected to contest the general election under the FijiFirst party banner: Source: Fijivillage News, 30/7/2014
Jumping the queue: PDP expresses concern that Military, Police, Doctors and Nurses will vote on 15-16 September before public votes in election
STATEMENT: PDP Queries Balloting Process
The People’s Democratic Party has questioned the Supervisor of Elections on the balloting process for the upcoming elections. Of concern is the fact that the Supervisor of Elections has confirmed that balloting for the Military, Police, doctors and nurses will be held on 15th or 16th of September prior to the general public casting their votes. The PDP questions the whole intent of this exercise as it would expose these groups on their support for political parties of their choice. When questioned as to why this was so, the Supervisor of Elections advised that it was his discretion under the Decrees. He also advised that the counting of the ballots would be done on the 17th of September.
Questions arise as to the wisdom in such an exercise as none of these groups would be involved in the electoral process on the 17th September except for the police who will remain outside polling stations. We do not see the need for these groups to vote prior to the 17th September unless they would be required to be absent from their normal place of residence. While the Decree may give certain discretionary powers to the Supervisor of Elections, these powers need to be used in a responsible manner and not to expose the political leaning of any particular group or occupation. Furthermore, this is no ordinary group. It is the disciplined forces who are responsible for protecting the citizens of this country, which include each member of this group. They too have the right to be protected and free of victimization. This is supposed to be a secret ballot. We ask the Supervisor of Elections to reconsider his decision.
The Supervisor has also confirmed that voters abroad will have to make an application to vote and should they meet the requirements of the application, they will be sent a postal ballot. Voters abroad have to date not been advised of the balloting procedures. The process is cumbersome to say the least. Why is there a need to put another hurdle after these citizens have in good faith registered to vote? It is time that the Supervisor of Elections clarifies to the public the entire electoral process including all issues in which he has used his discretionary powers.
Shazzer for Freedom in Fiji:
We all want to reduce road deaths. But let’s be realistic!
There are not even a million people in Fiji.
In 2013 there were 41 road deaths in Fiji. That is 41 too many.
To support Bainimarama’s claim of saving millions of lives he would have to stop all road deaths in Fiji for over 48,780 years.
Or perhaps he believes he can stop all 1.24m road deaths worldwide.
One of the dangers of being a totalitarian dictator is you begin to believe your own propaganda. As a result you make many OUTRAGEOUS claims, especially before an election.
Compare this with some of his other claims which have turned out to be lies.
• The economy is well managed. 1.1% annual growth is the lowest of any prime minister of Fiji.
• The National debt is declining. When he couped Fiji the National Debt was just over $2bn. Now it has more than doubled to nearly $5bn. And that’s only the debt we know about.
• Land is safer under the 2013 constitution. No one believes that and that’s why no one can challenge a Land Bank decision in the Courts of Law.
• Increased Cost of Living was not caused by his policies. Devaluation, increasing VAT and incompetence all prove that a lie.
• A 300 room casino will open in Fiji in 2013. Remember he even got dressed as a Native American Chief for that delusion.
• The sugar Industry is booming. Well Frankie only in your simple brain does halving the size of an industry count as a boom.
Chiefly ghosts: Bainimarama tells native Fijian voters that they are still alive and well despite him abolishing 'political' Great Council of Chiefs!
The Great Council of Chiefs will only protect the itaukei, not other races. Those are the words of Prime minister Voreqe Bainimarama after the Turaga Na Ratu Mai Bureta Ratu Jone Davila asked the Prime Minister if the absence of GCC has affected the installation of chiefs around the country. Ratu Jone raised the issue during the Prime Minister’s talanoa session with delegates at the Lomaiviti Provincial Council meeting in Levuka yesterday. Bainimarama told Ratu Jone that in the last eight years, the Vanua has not been affected in any way after the GCC was disestablished. He questioned the delegates if the GCC looks after the itaukei, who will look after the Indo Fijians, the Chinese and other races. Bainimarama said that some people are saying that they are Christian but they not acting like one. He said to live a Christian life is to respect and love others, not to bring in differences and hatred. Source: Fijivillage News
China mongering: Bainimarama tells voters that Fiji will not be sold to China - yes, he is right, for China will seize Fiji for defaulting on loans!
FijiFirst leader Voreqe Bainimarama has told the people of Levuka that Fiji will not be sold to China. He made this comment after a Levuka resident questioned Bainimarama on why the government has recently been engaging a lot of development works with China. Bainimarama said the developments through the Chinese government had already started before his government came into power. The FijiFirst Leader said these are just fear-mongering tactics used by other parties. He also says that Fiji’s economy is growing compared to the government that was led by Laisenia Qarase from 2001 to 2006. He said that Qarase’s government borrowed money to pay civil servants while the Bainimarama government only borrows money for road construction, building bridges, hospitals, wharves, rural electrification and schools. Source: Fijivillage News; Meanwile Chaudhry warns a woman voter on development debt: A Caubati resident has told Fiji Labour Party Leader, Mahendra Chaudhry in a campaign meeting in Nasinu that many people are not attending the Labour Party meetings because people are satisfied with the developments undertaken by the current government. Chaudhry then told about 30 people attending the campaign meeting that he cannot see any real development done by the current government for the benefit of the people. He also said that people should realise that developments done is through borrowed money which has to be paid back.
By Professor Wadan Narsey
[Qualification: There are many voters who believe that an unelected government, deemed illegal by the highest Fiji Court of Appeal, should not be changing policies on taxation, government expenditure and public debt for eight years. One founding slogan for the American War of Independence was: “no taxation without representation”.]
Economies can show high rates of growth, but have mixed results on the poor:
(1) the poor can become poorer, because the cost of living increases more than their incomes (some evidence of this).
(2) the poor can become poorer because of increased Value Added Tax, while the rich can become richer because of reduced direct taxes reduced (some evidence of this).
(3) the poorest can become better off even as the rich become richer, and income distribution can still become worse (no evidence of this).
As with the economic growth analysis, the analysis of changes in poverty may also be broken into two periods: one of increasing poverty between 2005 and 2011, and the second between 2011 and 2014 when many positive budget measures were brought in in the areas of education and infrastructure especially.
The likely changes in poverty are examined through household survey data form the Fiji Bureau of Statistics, the Wages Councils, changes in taxation, and the annual budget measures of the last three years.
Changes between 2002-03 and 2008-09
The FBS Household Income and Expenditure Surveys (HIES) for 2002-03 and 2008-09 give the changes in poverty between these two survey periods, with four years during the Qarase Government, and two years during the Bainimarama Government (the Bainimarama coup took place in December 2006).
Poverty between 2002-3 and 2008-9:
- in rural areas increased from 40% to 43%
- in urban areas reduced from 28% to 18%.
- Fiji as a whole, reduced from 35% to 31%.
Given the declining agricultural output in the sugar and non-sugar sectors, one can say confidently that rural poverty would have increased steadily through this entire period, both under the Qarase Government and the Bainimarama Government.
But because of the overall cumulative positive economic growth rate of 15% between 2000 and 2006, urban poverty under the Qarase Government would have been decreasing.
Changes in poverty between 2004-05 and 2010-11
The first year of this period was under the Qarase government, while the remaining five years were under the Bainimarama Government.
Assuming that the patterns of remittances were roughly the same throughout, the Employment and Unemployment Survey (EUS) data for 2004-05 and 2010-11, can be used to examine poverty at both the individual worker level, and also at the household level.
The EUS data at the household level indicate that the percentage of population in households below an estimated poverty line, changes as follows, between 2004-05 and 2010-11:
* in Fiji overall, poverty increased from 30% to 45%
* in rural areas, poverty increased from 34% to 55%
* in urban areas, poverty increased from 25% to 35%
The EUS individual worker data indicate that
* poverty of the workers depending on subsistence increased from 35% to 67%.
* the poverty of employees not covered by Fiji National Provident Fund, increased from 50% to 60% (those covered by FNPF remained the same at 20%).
This last result is not surprising given Governments’ failure to implement Wages Councils (next section).
Government failure to implement Wages Councils
The poorest wage earners who are not represented by unions are supposed to be protected by the ten Wages Councils, set very sensibly at different levels for different sectors depending on how well each sector was doing.
For most of the post-coup period, the Wages Councils were under the Chairmanship of Father Kevin Barr.
Unfortunately, Father Barr’s Wages Regulation Orders were postponed year after year by the Minister for Labor under orders from the Bainimarama Government, because of unethical pressures by employers and the Employers’ Federation.
While the stagnating economy after the 2006 coup may well have been an important factor for some employers, not a single employer ever showed their audited accounts in justification for their inability to pay, to the Wages Council Chairman (Barr) or the Labour Minister.
After postponement for four years, small partial adjustments were allowed, which did not keep pace with the large increases in the cost of living, and most of these workers, already extremely poor and numbering about 50,000, slipped further into poverty (as the EUS data indicates).
Eventually, Father Kevin Barr was sacked as Chairman of Wages Council, after accusing the Bainimarama Government of practicing “crony capitalism”, and threatened with expulsion from Fiji (Father Barr is an Australian citizen).
Then there was the National Minimum Wages debacle by the Chairman of the Commerce Commission (Dr Mahendra Reddy), who with great public fanfare, set a “scientific” national minimum wage of $2.32 per hour, only to retreat into silence, when the Bainimarama Government unilaterally, again under pressure from employers, reduced it to $2 per hour.
Regressive taxation: taxing the poor and helping the rich
There has been a false claim that because of the raising of the income tax threshold to $15,000, the poor now do not pay any tax, but the reality is that all consumers pay tax through VAT, on essential and non-essential expenditures alike.
Since 2006, the Bainimarama Government has changed the taxation system heavily in favor of the rich and increased the burdens on the poor:
(a) VAT has been increased from 12.5% to 15% increasing the cost of living for the poor;
(b) Income tax at the highest income levels has been reduced totally unnecessarily from 30% marginal tax to 20%, lower even than all our neighboring countries, thereby increasing the after-tax income for the rich (except for those earning over $270k).
(c) Corporate tax has also been reduced totally unnecessarily from 28% to 20%, with most foreign companies repatriating their increased profits.
These tax reductions have probably given back more than $150 million to the rich, and the lost revenues regained by taxing the poor and the middle classes more, through the VAT.
Income distribution and social justice has worsened in this period.
However, there have been some positive measures for the poor through budget measures in the last two years.
Changes in poverty 2011 to 2014: high growth and budget measures
The period 2011 to 2014 has seen an average growth rate of 3% growth rate, massive infrastructure investments amounting to more than $1 billion, and the continuation of the remittance receipts from abroad (now amounting to more than $370 millions according to RBF figures).
While there is no data to assist, almost certainly, poverty will have been reducing between 2011 and 2014 but annual budget figures also have a bearing on household poverty from the government expenditure side, which may be picked up in future household income and expenditure surveys.
The Bainimarama Government in the last three years has also brought in comprehensive subsidies on bus fares and tuition fees, and increased access to scholarships and loans for tertiary education. Commitments have also been made to make pre-schools free.
These are all clear and much appreciated benefits for the poor and there is statistical evidence of the positive effects.
The EUS data indicates that between 2005 and 2011, the percentages of children attending school have increased by 4% at primary schools (to almost complete coverage now), and by 7% at secondary to reach 88%, and by 7% at tertiary ages to reach 40%.
Almost certainly, the improvements in school attendance have continued to grow after 2011, especially at the secondary and tertiary levels given the easier access to scholarships and loans.
Of particular benefit to Indo-Fijian families is that there are no obstacles in their children’s paths to higher education, whereas previously there used to be quotas on scholarships, and limited access to loans.
These education policies by the Bainimarama Government counter, to some extent, the changes in taxation policy described above, but not for those poor families without children at school.
Note that the awarding of scholarships in select areas based totally on academic merit has meant reduced access to indigenous Fijians in these areas.
Given that the emigration data indicates clearly that qualified non-Fijians are far more likely to emigrate than indigenous Fijians, then the current ethnically blinkered scholarship policies, are likely to lead to severe skill shortages in the future in those areas.
Another recent positive measure has been the allowances for the elderly which is of some assistance to the destitute.
More importantly, the building of rural roads and other socially necessary infrastructure on water and sewerage throughout Fiji (especially in the poorest Northern Division) will be of great assistance to the rural poor, facilitating the marketing of their produce and better access to essential urban services, and improving their livelihoods and standards of living.
However, these future benefits will only eventuate, if the increased infrastructure expenditure translates into higher economic growth, which can pay for the current large increases in Public Debt, which will otherwise be a burden on the future generations of the poor and middle classes.
It also depends crucially on the Republic of Fiji Military Forces respecting the democratic outcome of the September 2014 elections and staying clear of politics whatever the result.
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!
"Oh, you, son of a Part-European, you don't have any land"
By Fijileaks Ex-Fiji SUN Election Team in Fiji
Reports have been received from Wainivula that Fiji First candidate Nemani Bainivalu lost control when he was bombarded with questions from voters. Dr Jiko Luveni was also present. Bainivalu used abusive language and assaulted a man when answering questions.
The Fiji First party was queried on pressing issues such as:
· The deletion of the entrenched legislation which gave veto powers to 9 members of the GCC to the senate to oversee legislation that may affect any changes to the Native Land Trust Act
· The effects of the Land Use Decree 2010 and the complete powers given to one person the PM to control the administration of land deposited in the Land Bank
In the exchange of heated debate Bainivalu told the man in Fijian:
“…..o iko na luveni kailoma sega na kemu qele”; Bainivalu then physically assaulted the man.This was done in front of people gathered at the Wainivula Church Hall. They were completely shocked at the behavior of Bainivalu and the lack of control from Luveni and other party officials.
This is a glaring example of the dictatorial attitude now displayed by Fiji First candidates who are following in the footsteps of their leader.
The heat is up and the lies of the regime are now being exposed as the general public is now being informed of the real intent of Bainimarama and Khaiyum to enslave all of us in their constitution.
“These men and women have been chosen because we believe they have the commitment to the objectives, values and principles of FijiFirst. They individually bring a knowledge base and experience from their own respective fields of expertise and profession. We believe they will bring credibility and integrity." - Bainimarama introducing his FFP candidates to the voters