IN YOUR FACE: Fiji First takes to Facebook in breach of political party decree - shadowy characters hide behind Facebook to promote party!
HARYANAGATE: As Mahendra Chaudhry waits for his fate, his former Haryana host Om Prakash Chautala, son Ajay, Sher Singh Badshami & Vidya Dhar received harsh jail terms in teachers' recruitment scam case
On January 22, 2013, a special Indian court had convicted and sentenced Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, his son Ajay Chautala and eight others, including Vidya Dhar (Chautala's former Officer on Special Duty) and Badshami, to 10 years jail term for illegally recruiting 3,206 junior teachers in the year 2000. All of them were held guilty of cheating, forgery, using fake documents as genuine, conspiracy and for abusing their official position under Prevention of Corruption Act.
In Search of Chaudhry's Millions: From Haryana to High Court in Fiji
Fijileaks Editor: It all began in December 2005 when Victor Lal published ‘Haryanagate is no ‘Silly Matter’ in Fiji’s now defunct Daily Post. Responding to the heated exchanges in Parliament between Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase and Mahendra Chaudhry, Victor Lal wrote from Oxford a two part-series in the Daily Post challenging Chaudhry to answer some lingering questions regarding the money allegedly collected for him in Haryana:
(1) When did Chaudhry learn of the funds collected for him in his ancestral homeland?
(2) What did he do to encourage or stop the collection of funds?
(3) Why has Indo-Fiji Friendship Society (IFFS) issued denials and clarifications now and not Chaudhry or the FLP?
(4) Was Chaudhry patron-in-chief of the IFFS, as claimed by its secretary Sher Singh Badshami?
(5) What about allegations that thousands of dollars were also collected in Australia, US, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom?
The two part series titled “Haryanagate is no Silly Matter” was the beginning of Victor Lal’s long and meticulous search for “the Haryana millions”. Three years later, in 2008, Victor Lal published his final findings in the Sunday Sun, supported by documents, that Chaudhry was hiding $2million in Australia from FIRCA and the general public of Fiji. The revelation led to the abduction and deportation of Fiji Sun publisher Russell Hunter out of Fiji. The regime refused to sack Chaudhry, by then its Interim Finance Minister in the Bainimarama Cabinet. Ironcially, while the Australian government has lifted travel sanctions against regime members, Hunter remains a prohibited immigrant for telling the truth about Chaudhry's millions. Below is Victor Lal's original article in abridged form:
The FLP should suspend Chaudhry until the matter is satisfactorily resolved for his sake and the party’s political survival
By VICTOR LAL in Fiji's Daily Post, December 2005
IT WAS a sight that had shocked and annoyed many ordinary Indo-Fijians in August 2000, and has now come to haunt Mahendra Pal Chaudhry’s political career. One angered Indo-Fijian, after seeing Chaudhry in a green Hindu turban, with clapped lotus-like hands greeting the adoring crowd, wrote to the Fiji Times from Ba, calling upon Chaudhry to return permanently to Bahu Jamalpur, a village which lies on the outskirts of Rohtak town in Haryana, and from whence Chaudhry’s grandfather, Ram Nath, came in 1911 to Fiji as a bonded coolie labourer.
I thought the writer from Ba was slightly harsh on the recently deposed Prime Minister Chaudhry, who had just emerged from 56 days of captivity at the hands of the pseudo-Fijian nationalist George Speight. After all, it is very fashionable for political leaders, whether in the United States, Australia, New Zealand or elsewhere, to return to their ancestral roots. In Chaudhry’s case, it was doubly important for him to seek succour and help from ‘Mother India’, then unfortunately run by an extreme right-wing Hindu Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) government. Unlike thousands of us who can no longer trace our roots and relatives in India, I thought Chaudhry was uniquely placed to exploit the ‘Haryana connection’ if it helped mitigate the Indo-Fijians sufferings, lootings, beatings, rapes, and religious vandalism in the aftermath of the Speight coup. I was not aware that funds were already being collected even before Chaudhry had landed in Haryana. It also seems, if we are to believe Chaudhry that he himself was, and until recently still was not, aware of any funds collected in the so-called ‘Haryanagate’ scandal.
Chaudhry in Harayana land
In August 2000 Chaudhry arrived in New Delhi on a 10-day visit at the invitation of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Chaudhry had arrived by a Singapore Airlines flight, accompanied by his wife. He had gone to India to drum up support for the restoration of democracy and human rights in Fiji. He was, and still is, a few Indo-Fijians who commands widespread support, if not sympathy, in the land of his forefathers. His cause was greatly helped by the BJP government and its political allay, the then Chief Minister of Haryana, Om Prakash Chautala. The Indian Minister for Agriculture Chaoba Singh, Chautala and chief protocol officer M. P. Singh received him. The deposed Prime Minister of Fiji waved at the waiting Indian media outside the VIP lounge of the Indira Gandhi International Airport but did not speak to them despite requests. The Haryana Chief Minister’s son Ajay Chautala and relatives of Chaudhry were also present at the airport to receive him. During his captivity, his relatives had actively sought Vajpayee’s help to free Chaudhry from Speight’s clutches.
In Rothak, welcome arches and flag-waving school children greeted Chaudhry. According to Indian newspapers, the Chautala government had forced government-sponsored schools to line up their students by the roadside in the scorching heat. He was feted at a public reception by the Chautala’s Haryana State government. He was given a hero’s welcome, with his struggle’s to uphold Indo-Fijian rights likened to the South African President Nelson Mandela’s crusade against White apartheid in old racist South Africa. In his speech, according to Indian newspaper reports, Chaudhry told a cross-section of politicians and a gathering of up to 8,000 people who had turned up to cheer him that he [his] struggle to restore democracy in Fiji would be fraught with danger because the guns were still in the hands of rebels who had overthrown his Peoples Coalition Government.
The politicians who had come to listen to him were the Congress Party, the BJP, the Haryana Vikas Party (HVP), the Bahujan Samaj party and the Communist Party of India-Marxist. The former Deputy Indian Prime Minister Devi Lal (no relative of mine, by the way) was also present for a while. In his speech, Chaudhry also told the gathering that it was the second time in 13 years that a democratically elected government in Fiji had been overthrown on racist grounds, and urged the international community not to be taken in by the promises made by the incumbent military-backed Laisenia Qarase interim Fijian government on the restoration of democracy in the country. ‘I have not received such a reception at home,’ Chaudhry told the crowd. ‘For a moment it appeared as if I was in my own political constituency.’
In his address to the gathering, Chautala, likened Chaudhry’s struggle to Mandela’s in South Africa, and also dramatically announced that his government would present a purse of Rs 16 million to Chaudhry before he returns home on 26 August 2000. Chautala said all the State’s subjects would be requested to contribute Rs 1 to the purse.
Question: Did Chaudhry hear of Chautala’s announcement at this reception? If so, what was his response to the planned fund-raising? What did he do to encourage or stop the collection in August 2000?
During his visit to Rohtak, the returning prodigal son was also conferred an honorary doctorate by the 8th Special Convocation of the Rohtak’s Maharisi Dayanand University. Again, according to Indian press reports, receiving the doctorate, Chaudhry had to remind the audience that though his grandfather and father hailed from Haryana, he was born and brought up in Fiji. Chaudhry received the doctorate with a sense of great joy and pride and also some regret. ‘This could have occurred in happier times for me and my countrymen, Fijians.’ The honorary doctorate was awarded to him in recognition of his pioneering and exemplary service in improving the lot of his countrymen and his fight for democracy and social justice. The degree was awarded by Governor Parmanand, also the Chancellor of the University.
To his credit, Chaudhry repeatedly stressed his Fijian moorings again and again. He did not utter a word against George Speight and his goons who had held him captive. Neither did he say anything against the rulers who had sent Speight to prison. According to Indian journalists covering Chaudhry’s visit, throughout the day, different Haryani speakers kept forgetting that Chaudhry’s middle name was Pal and not Pratap.
But ‘Pratap’, which means courage, had become so synonymous with him that nobody, even Chaudhry himself minded that. He did however manage to win the day despite having betrayed popular sentiment by not uttering a word in Hindi. As one journalist put it, ‘even at the reception where the pro-subsidy, pro-free electricity farmers had gathered, Chaudhry spoke in a foreign tongue’. It was, as the journalist put it, a rude culture shock for the suave Chaudhry, impeccable in a blue-grey suit. But Chautala would have none of it. Throughout the day he fought hard to steal the show. Buyoed by a wave of jingoism which largely uneducated Haryanis had fallen for, Chautala raged throughout the day.
Why was Om Prakash Chuatala so upbeat and excited about Chaudhry’s visit to his home state? Was he planning to add the thousands of rupees, to be collected for Chauhdry, to the millions for which he would be subsequently charged by the Indian authorities?
At the reception, however, Chautala told the masses: ‘Chaudhry is fighting an arduous battle for restoring democracy and we want him to know that we fully support him.’
Haryana Congress raises Fiji fund scandal
It was not long however before Chautala’s political opponents sensed blood. In January 2003, the Pradesh Congress demanded a Central Bureau of Investiagtion (CBI) probe into the source of the money allegedly earmarked for Chaudhry. The Haryana Congress president and former Chief Miniister, Bhajan lal, at a news conference on 18 January in Chandigarh, sought to know the details of the funds collected in Haryana and demanded a CBI probe into its sources. However, the so-called Indo-Fiji Friendship Society and the then ruling Indian National Lok Dal (INDL) had dismissed allegations of committing any irregularities. The Haryana INLD president and society member, Sher Singh Badshami, in a statement, refuted the allegations levelled by the Congress leaders, including the Legislature Party leader, Bhupinder Singh Hooda. Badshami termed them as ‘baseless’. He said Chautala had nothing to do with the IFFS. The society president was Inder Singh, MP, while the treasurer was Ram Lal of Rania., and the patron-in-chief was Chaudhry himself, Badshami said. He said the Rs 1 crore received from the public had been deposited in the society’s name in a bank in Chandigarh.
On 21 January 2003, Chautala offered to hold a probe into the alleged misuse of funds collected by the IFFFS. Addressing a press conference he said the society, headed by INDL MP from Rohtak, Inder Singh, had collected funds for the specific purpose as ousted Chaudhry hailed from Rohtak district. He maintained that the society had been maintaining proper records of the funds and the money was safely lying in a bank account. Chautala said the Opposition was raking up the issue to defame him.
The protestations failed to wish away the controversy. On 28 January 2003, the Indian Youth Congress demanded the dismissal of Chautala for failing to adhere to ‘constitutional norms’. An IYC delegation, led by its President, Randeep Singh Surjewala, presented a memorandum to Governor Parmanand, on this issue, and also urged the Governor to order a CBI probe to find out the truth about the quantum of money collected and the IFFS which was said to be in possession of the funds. The memorandum contained a blow-by-blow account of Chautala’s announcement to collect the fund for Chaudhry. The memorandum questioned why money in crores collected in the name of Chaudhry was not handed over to him even 31 months after August 26, 2000, when he was supposed to be presented with the collection. It claimed that workers of all political parties and others collected money to the tune of Rs 6 crore, and a majority of the donations were received in cash. The memorandum also pointed out the contradictions between Badshami, who claimed the money was collected only in the form of bank drafts and cheques, and Chautala’s announcement about collecting R1 from each Haryani. The Indian Youth Congress asked exactly how much money was collected.
The memorandum said it had now been stated by the IFFS that the money would be utilised for Non-Resident Indians of Haryana origin and not for Chaudhry questioning that was the justification of raising the money then. It also asked for the date on which the money was deposited in Oriental Bank of Commerce, sector 19, Chandigarh. It also asked as to who was in possession of the money between August 2000, and the day when it was deposited in the bank. Claiming that ‘fraud by Mr Chautala and his party is thus writ large’ in the Fiji episode, the memorandum said when a person holding the highest office in the State was engaged in defrauding the people of the State, it amounted to his ceasing to hold allegiance to the law of the land. The use of government officials in the fraud also amounted to violation of Article 164(3) read with Third Schedule of the Constitution of India, stated the memorandum.
The episode, one Indian journalist, recently noted, has frightened many prospective ordinary donors from responding to donations in times of disasters, and they have every reason to do so for running away from donation-seekers. In 2002, when Chaudhry participated in the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (the much celebrated Non-Resident Indian gathering) Chautala was nowhere to be seen. When an Indian newspaper asked him why he did not hand over the money to Chaudhry, Chautala said the transfer involved two sovereign countries (India and Fiji). If so, why did he raise the money in the first place? Badshami, while refuting Congress claim, said only Rs1.2 crore was collected and it was to date deposited in a branch of Union Bank of India in Panchukla. Though Badshami said that Chaudhry was a member of the Committee, he did not have either his number or address. Was [What] a ridiculous and breath-taking explanation?
Question: Was Chaudhry, as Badshami claims, a patron-in-chief of the IFFS?
In November 2004, when Chautala was charged by the Indian authorities with the disappearance of millions of dollars, including funds collected for the Fiji Labour Party, Chaudhry denied reports that Chautala had collected funds for the party which were later stolen. He labelled such reports as ‘mischief making’ and a ‘smear campaign’ against the FLP. On 14 January 2003, the Indian Express quoted Chaudhry as saying, ‘I am hopeful that Chautala will honour the promise he made to the Indians of Fiji’. It said that when Chauhdry made inquiries, he was told that 2.5 crore rupees (about FJ$1 million) had been collected and put in the bank. ‘I was not given anything and I decided not to press the matter further at that point,’ Chauhdry had allegedly told the Indian Express then.
What is the Truth?
A radio report in Fiji stated in November 2004 that the FLP sources had confirmed that Chautala collected funds for the party to fight its court cases relating to the Constitution. When contacted, Chaudhry said: ‘There was absolutely no funds collected for the FLP by anybody and we have not asked anyone to collect funds on our behalf. ‘It is mischief making and a smear campaign against the Labour Party to discredit us because the elections are around the corner,’ he said. ‘It is pure mischief making by the radio station and we have asked them to retract the report, failing which they will face the legal consequences,’ he said. Chaudhry said people making such allegations should either come up with evidence or shut up.
The most recent to raise the issue is the Prime Minister [Qarase], who asked in Parliament: ‘I challenge him to tell us the complete truth about the funds that were raised there for him in Haryana State. Where are those funds now and what are they used for? How much money is held in bank accounts and who are the signatories?" But Chaudhry said Qarase should come up with evidence. ‘He is just being silly. Let him come up with evidence before making wild accusations?' He refused to admit or deny any knowledge of the funds.
Badshami says they would have no objection if the present Laisenia Qarase government arranged the transfer of this money to Fiji, presumably for Chaudhry and the Fiji Labour Party.
Will Chaudhry accept the money?
Above all, to put the Nixonian question – when did Chaudhry know that funds were being collected for him, and how did he know?
What more evidence he needs before he admits or denies any knowledge of the funds that was collected in Haryana in August 2000?
Fijileaks Editor: No one knew, until Victor Lal revealed it, that Chaudhry also held $2million in his Sydney bank account, the subject of his recent conviction. What has happened to the Chautala collection? Is it still in India or has it been sent to Chaudhry?
Is the controversial "Harbhajan Lal" letter to FIRCA a Forgery?
The letter was withheld from Justice Gounder and a new one from Delhi Support Group tendered to explain away the $2million in Sydney bank account!
We do not know when Chaudhry wrote to "Harbhajan Lal". But Harbhajan Lal's reply does not make sense at all: "You have asked for details of the funds." That was on 9 September 2004.
And yet documentary evidence clearly reveal that Chauhdry was aware of the funds in his Sydney bank account.
For on 25 November 2002 he had gifted (above) $50,000 to his daughter from the $2million.
Meanwhile, on 28 April 2008 Victor Lal wrote to the mysterious Harbhajan Lal on the same address (below) with a list of questions but the letter was returned to him with a note scribbled on the back: ‘Incomplete Address’. The accountant Nalin Patel of G. Lal & Co had submitted the "Harbhajan Lal" letter on behalf of Chaudhry to explain away the source of the $2million in the Sydney bank account.
Chaudhry Millions: As his lawyers make dramatic last-minute bid to quash conviction it emerges that DPP & CID are yet to act against series of criminal complaints lodged by Victor Lal and Russell Hunter in 2012
Pressure piles up: Aiyaz Khaiyum ends up at Suva Private Hospital but wants to be discharged and rest at his 'Fiji First' domain name address - 59 Vunaceke Rd, Suva!
Former Opposition Leader Mick Beddoes' response to Sitiveni Rabuka’s claims that his recent opinion piece was responsible for Rabuka's difficulties with SODELPA
The nature of the crimes concerning the elected Prime Ministers that disqualified them from contesting the 2014 elections are, in my opinion, misdemeanors when compared to the seriousness of the capital crimes committed by the usurpers.
The rule of law must apply equally to every citizen, regardless of their status in life. That is essentially what my opinion piece was about and I did not make any submissions to the SODELPA executive or anyone else about Mr Rabuka.
I acknowledge that Mr Rabuka’s coup happened 27 years ago and that he stood for elections, was successful, became Prime Minister and took Fiji towards a new multiracialism. I acknowledge also that he has previously apologized for his part in the '87 coup.
But an apology on its own cannot heal the hurt and pain tens of thousands of our people suffered as a result of the '87 coup. The same applies to the Speight 2000 coup and the 2006 Bainimarama coup.
According to a previous estimate by the respected economist Professor Wadan Narsey, the three coups have so far cost our financially poor nation $9 billion. Once we take account of the full damage and loss caused by the Bainimarama military takeover and his prolonged rule, billions of dollars more will be added.
That’s enough money to create well-funded policies to wipe out all poverty and squatter problems in Fiji. It would leave enough change to ensure conditions for zero unemployment and payment of a just national minimum wage, for every family to have a decent standard of living. The multi billions of lost dollars would also have provided water, electricity and improved and affordable transport to the most deprived and remote areas of Fiji. There would have been medical services with properly remunerated doctors and nurses operating the cleanest, best maintained and equipped hospitals in our region and still be in a position to take good care of all our people's needs and aspirations.
All this is what military coups have cost us, the people. And that is why many cannot simply forget the capital crimes committed against us.
I have not, of course, included the grievous social and physical cost and trauma related to the disintegration of many families from the financial strain, the abuse of human rights including deaths, torture, suppression of liberties and freedoms, and rule by fear.
But the people of Fiji, despite all of this and having to always vosota and carry the pain, are still amongst the friendliest and most tolerant in the world.
Our people have the goodness of heart to forgive those who have sinned against them. But for forgiveness to be complete there needs to be reciprocation. This would encompass sincere expressions of atonement by the wrong doers and must be demonstrated in a real and profound way.
That has not happened yet. And, until it does, the past will continue to haunt us. That haunting came home in the recent SODELPA incident with Mr Rabuka.
I am not qualified to pass judgment on Mr Rabuka, and neither is this an attempt to do so. Only a competent court of law can do that.
But what I will say is this: Mr Rabuka and all other persons instrumental in the events of 1987, 2000 and 2006 who still enjoy immunity but would prefer to atone, receive forgiveness and reconcile with the people, must demonstrate their sincerity. They can do this by taking a personal decision and acting on it, no matter how difficult it might be.
One way that I suggest would be to make a personal legal statutory declaration that they forfeit the protection of their immunity absolutely. That declaration should also state categorically that they will freely submit themselves to a properly constituted court of enquiry into all aspects of the military coups and part of a properly established and independently managed ‘Truth & Reconciliation Process’ to allow the healing of our people to begin.
Such an undertaking by the individuals involved would demonstrate in a very powerful way their genuine remorse. And regardless of the outcome of a judicial enquiry, including provisions for mercy, the offenders would have taken a just and commendable step towards seeking and earning forgiveness from their victims, their families and the citizens of Fiji.
This in itself would help to lift terrible burdens of pain, loss and shame carried for too long by the people of Fiji."
April 26 2014
LICENCE TO STEAL: On 11 November 2009 Khaiyum, Minister for Public Enterprises & Communications, secretly bought Fiji First domain name & next day seized control of broadcasting media to help brother set up FBC TV station as regime prepared for 2010 poll
IN November 2009 Aiyaz Khaiyum tightened his noose around broadcast media in Fiji by promulgating the Regulation of National Spectrum Decree (No. 48 of 2009). The Decree was promulgated by President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau on 13th November 2009. Nailatikau had signed it into law on 12 November, a day after Khaiyum had secretly purchased the internet domain name Fiji First for Frank Bainimarama to use in a general election. As Minister for Public Enterprises and Communication, Khaiyum is not only in charge of the communications sector but also Fiji Broadcasting Corporation Ltd (Radio Fiji). FBCL is managed by his younger brother, Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, and this Decree was aimed at helping FBCL to launch its national state run television service on frequencies and infrastructure already installed and used by Fiji Television Company Limited. Aiyaz Khaiyum had seized control of the broadcast media and was helping his brother set up the propaganda TV station because the regime was planning to hold general election in 2010, which it later cancelled, and has now promised to hold in September, with Bainimarama's "Fiji First" party planning to contest, if it is able to obtain the required 5,000 signatures under the Political Parties Decree 2013.
A LAW UNTO HIMSELF: Will Aiyaz Khaiyum subject himself to fine and possible prison term under the Political Parties Decree for his role in the purchase of the Fiji First name? MINISTER FOR ELECTIONS & A-G, AIYAZ SAYED KHAIYUM, HAS VIOLATED HIS OWN POLITICAL PARTIES DECREE NO 4 (2013) BY EXTENDING THE DOMAIN NAME IN JANUARY 2014 & ADDING THE E-MAIL ADDRESS AS FIJIFIRST2014@GMAIL.COM WHEN THE PROPOSED FIJIFIRST PARTY IS YET TO BE REGISTERED & APPROVED!
See Victor Lal on FBC Loan Scam: http://www.coupfourandahalf.com/2012/07/khaiyums-22million-bank-loan-to-set-up.html
Fiji First Party and the search for "The Da Vinci Code" P O Box 555 leads to Attorney-General & Minister for Elections Aiyaz Khaiyum's aunty: C/- BDO Zarin Ali, Level 8, Dominion House, GPO Box 555, Suva, Fiji Islands
WHO owns the PO Box 555 which Fiji's Attorney-General and Minister for Elections Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum listed as the registrant's postal code when he bought the domain name Fiji First in 2009 for military dictator Frank Bainimarama to use in the September general election?
It seems the post code belongs to Khaiyum's aunty Nur Bano Ali's chartered accountancy firm BDO Zarin Ali. For the same post code is cited in documents relating to Latifa Investments, the family company owned by Aiyaz Khaiyum and his mother Latifa. Latifa Investments is 99 per cent owned by Khaiyum and one per cent by his mother. Nur Bano Ali is Khaiyum's maternal aunt, sister of Khaiyum's mother Latifa. Bano Ali is also the illegal regime's pay mistress.
Struggling for numbers: Fiji First party's blue bus has run out of gas or perhaps the wheels have fallen off! UFDF also questions Fiji Sun poll!
The proposed Fiji First party is not obligated to register within the ‘strict’ 28 day provisions of the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosures) Decree 2013, that the regime forced the established parties to follow last year. However, as the authors and sponsors of the draconian Political Parties Decree, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum and Voreqe Bainimarama have clearly failed to negotiate their very first ‘political’ hurdle as they finally come face to face with the same restrictive and unreasonable demands they placed on others.
The UFDF said the FBC’s Apisalome Coka reported yesterday quote: - The proposed Fiji First political party has deferred registering with the Elections Office. The proposed party which was to have registered yesterday is still collecting more signatures unquote.
The UFDF said this poor showing of support is despite the added advantage Voreqe Bainimarama & Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum had of:-
Ø an additional 435 days since February 13th 2013, when the NFP filed its registration
Ø the full resources of government behind them
Ø the daily barrage of media coverage of Voreqe Bainimarama's registration team’s itinerary over the past 25 days since he launched his registration campaign on March 30th
Ø Breaches of the decree that are now the subject of complaints to the police.
The UFDF said if the proposed Fiji First, with all its resources, media hoopla and propaganda, cannot register within 28 days, then the Fiji Sun columnist Nemani Delaibatiki’s quote ‘unstoppable political juggernaut’ just ran out of gas. Or perhaps the blue buses wheels fell off.
The UFDF said this failure of the proposed Fiji First demonstrates two very important things for the people of Fiji to note:-
Firstly: The credibility of the Fiji Sun poll. On April 12th it suggested Voreqe Bainimarama was the preferred PM at 82% and his proposed party Fiji First was the preferred political party at 62%. It also suggested on the 19th of April that the member parties of the UFDF collectively had just 9% support?
If, as the poll suggests, the 3 political party members of the UFDF collectively have just 9% support, then the 24,246 signatures they collected in support of their registrations would presumably represent that 9%. Therefore it is not unreasonable to expect that the preferred proposed Fiji First party that allegedly enjoys 62% support should be able to front up with 167,028 signatures.
Certainly the high 82% preferred Prime Minister and 62% preferred party predictions by the Fiji Sun have not translated into ‘real tangible’ support.
It seems from the deferment of their registration that Fiji First is struggling to just get 5,000 signatures at this very early stage of pre election preparations and given that the UFDF members have not yet launched their campaigns, and collected their 24,246 signatures just through normal branch worker activity, without any media hype says a lot about who really has the support.
The UFDF said that the 3 member parties not only managed to collect their 5,000 signatures and register in time, they submitted 9,246 extra signatures, and could easily have helped Fiji First out by giving them 5,000 signatures so they could register and still have 18% more signatures left over?
Secondly: This was yet another very clear example of the regime not being up to the task and failing yet again to ‘WALK ITS TALK’ and is basically unable to deliver on the same draconian requirements they impose on others.
Political Parties must exhibit vision and an accompanying passion to go with it. Like Dr. Bavadra’s Fiji Labour Party had an all-round ‘class’ based appeal, (not ‘racial’) and with the winning slogan; ‘Time for a Change’. It energized the youth and the old alike with aspiration, hope and happiness.
Bainimarama’s proposed political party by virtue of STEALING Fiji First Party’s name has exhibited a political vision which long extents to the length of their noses. It exhibits lack of imagination and originality and/or any mental activity which borders on or could be described as CREATIVITY. ‘Mentally challenged’ would probably be the most politically correct description.
By STEALING someone else’s intellectual property is progress by plagiarism - and the only thing Bainimarama’s proposed party exhibits, by doing so, is an emptiness of morality and ethics.
And as for passion Bainimarama’s proposed party has a BUS to show!
FIJI FIRST PARTY formally known as GIRMIT HERITAGE PARTY was formed by people who LOVE FIJI passionately and those who brought you the Chandrika Prasad’s Case and unabrogated the 1997 Constitution.
FIJI FIRST PARTY believes in OUR RIGHTS to our 1997 Constitution and in our rights to exist as a political party (as a future project) and in our RIGHTS not to relinquish our name.
FIJI FIRST PARTY: Nanuku Resort and Spa says it has nothing to do with the said Party nor is it in any way affiliated with it - re Post Box 555
"If you carefully look at the registration details of the said Party, the Registrant postal code is given as PO Box 555 and the Registrant City is Suva. Therefore the said Party's box number is PO Box 555 Suva and not Pacific Harbour" - Karen Taylor, Resort Manager Nanuku Resort & Spa
SODELPA's vengeful hounding of coupist Sitiveni Rabuka will backfire as Mick Beddoes, Waqavonovono et al and Women's Wing claim scalp!
POLITICAL MORAL DUPLICITY: How can Sodelpa reject one coupist Rabuka from standing for election and yet the party is taking on another at the election- Bainimarama- legitimizing his treasonous coup!
Suppose Bainimarama wins fair or foul - then what - scream he can't be
Prime Minister because he committed treason in 2006?
But what about skeletons in their own political cupboards. Beddoes is one of a few who has stood up for democracy, human rights, rule of law and media freedom. And yet, on 28 November 2006, he had called upon the Qarase government to placate the Royal Fiji Military Forces by dropping investigations into insubordination on the part of Frank Bainimarama. "All it is doing is putting a red rag in front of a bull and the bull has 4,000 guns," he told Australia's ABC Radio.
We also have another high-profile Sodelpa spokesman in Dr Tupeni Baba - sooner or later his links with the fugitive conman Peter Foster will resurface during the election campaign. In other words, sacrificing Rabuka will not increase Sodelpa's chances at the polls. If anything, it might backfire on the party including Beddoes, Waqavonovono and others who have been baying for Rabuka's scalp.
His political fate was sealed, and gave fuel to his opponents, when party leader Ro Teimumu Kepa herself, on 15 April, vehemently objected to Rabuka's membership of the party, citing his treasonous coups of 1987. Fair enough but what about the former convict Tui Cakau, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, who fiercely lobbied for Rabuka to represent Sodelpa from Cakaudrove! Sitiveni Rabuka has apologized for his 1987 coups and gave to Fiji, along with Jai Ram Reddy, the negotiated 1997 Constitution of Fiji, unlike the present lot who are holding election under their imposed 2013 Constitution and Decrees. Good luck to Major-General Sitiveni Ligamamada Rabuka, who reminds us: “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” Oddly, while the party is exhibiting a moral high ground against coups (Rabuka) it has no qualm in taking on Frank Bainimarama at the polls. They would have earned respect if they had boycotted the election on the grounds that by not participating in the election they are not legitimizing Bainimarama's treasonous coup.
SODELPA Rabuka Quits Party he will not be participating in the party under any official capacity: SODELPA
"...Secrecy is the keystone of all tyranny. Not force, but secrecy... censorship. When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, 'This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know,' the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives." --Robert A. Heinlein, -If This Goes On
click link below:
The Draft Ghai Constitution 2013
The Explanatory Report
Appendage to Draft Constitution
Professor Yash Ghai's Statement