Big names set to take on Fiji regime at elections

Sunday June 15, 2014 Written by PNC Published in Regional
Big names set to take on Fiji regime at elections

Fiji’s biggest opposition party, and the party most likely to hurt the September election prospects of the regime-led Fiji First Party, has named its list of election candidates  – with some high profile Fijians putting their weight behind the Social Democratic Liberal Party.

Speaking at the announcement, party leader Roko Tui Dreketi Ro Teimumu Kepa said the candidates would work to protect the interest of all Fijians and to protect Fiji’s needs.

Some of the candidates revealed include former local government minister Colonel Samuela Saumatua, Fijian rugby player Viliame Satala and former opposition leader Mick Beddoes.

The list includes Ro Teimumu Kepa (well-known and outspoken female chief and politician), Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu (a paramount chief and former cabinet minister), Bill Gavoka (former Fiji Rugby Union board chair), Anare Jale (former PSC CEO),  Dr Mere Samisoni (former member for Lami), Dr Tupeni Baba (academic and politician), Nirmal Singh (ex People’s Democratic Party) and Tomasi Vakatora Jnr (businessman).

Sodelpa’s list of candidates comes two days after the official launch of the regime-led Fiji First amid more claims of electoral decree breaches.

Ro Teimumu Kepa said: “This is indeed a momentous day for SODELPA and for Fiji.

“We gather to introduce to you the majority of our nominees to contest the general elections, as we fight to determine the future of Fiji and her people.

“When the nominees making their debut today have been officially endorsed, they will begin to move out to all parts of Fiji carrying our banner reflecting what we believe to be the important messages for all voters.

“Although we will not be launching our manifesto until July our nominees understand all too well the task ahead presenting the framework and thrust of our main policies.

“From December 2006, Bainimarama and Khaiyum have been reshaping Fiji in line with their thinking, their laws and their personal interests and aspirations.

“Much of what they have done is consistent with the commentary and ideas in an academic thesis on Fijian indigenous culture written by Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

“The heart of the message we will take to our people is that SODELPA seeks a Fiji revived, a Fiji renewed and radiant; a Fiji of full employment and opportunity where people can lift themselves out of poverty.

“We seek a nation united and happy in its distinctive diversity, a Fiji that says to the world we are again a symbol of hope for humankind.

“We see a free Fiji of equality and just laws, well-governed through the collective authority of a cabinet that is representative of our communities, and answerable to parliament and the people.

“In our Fiji, the citizenry will possess the constituent power of the state; their voices will be heard.  Together with partners in cabinet and our respective members of parliament, we shall undertake a review of the constitution.

“The starting point is to ask the Supreme Court for an advisory opinion on the status in law of the 1997 Constitution. In this review, there will be full consultations throughout Fiji, so that the outcome is a constitution the people can truly describe as their own.

“That is true democracy and the true pathway to returning Fiji to the rule of law.

“There will be no place at all for dictatorial national decision-making dominated by two men.

“We declare now that as one of our first acts in government, oppressive and restrictive decrees and policies of spite and vindictiveness will be cast out. They do not belong in the Fiji of our future.

“So tell the people that we are different and they can trust us to bring lasting and fair changes.”

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