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2006 general elections a close race

The 2006 general elections was closely fought between the two mainstream parties with SDL getting a slight edge with 36 seats with Labour getting 33 with its coalition partner the UPP. Two seats went to Independents – the Rotuma communal…

Labour takes up offer of cabinet positions

The Labour Parliamentary caucus has accepted the Prime Minister’s invitation to join his cabinet under with the power sharing provisions of the Constitution. Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry met with PM Laisenia Qarase this afternoon to discuss his offer of 7…

The 2006 general elections were rigged

The Fiji Labour Party is extremely concerned with the manner in which the 2006 general elections were conducted. There was clear evidence of electoral rigging of the polls, and before that, to disenfranchise voters through the registration process. A number…

The 2006 general elections were rigged

The Fiji Labour Party is extremely concerned with the manner in which the 2006 general elections were conducted. There was clear evidence of electoral rigging of the polls, and before that, to disenfranchise voters through the registration process. A number…

Illegal polling at Nadera

Labour candidate for the Laucala Open, Vijay Krishna, is seeking to have polling at the Reba Circle in Nadera today declared null and void because it was illegally conducted. The polling at Rishikul Nadera Primary School at Reba Circle was…

Supervisor of Elections must resign or be dismissed

Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has called on the Constitutional Offices Commission to dismiss the Supervisor of Elections Mr Semesa Karavaki for gross incompetence and inefficiency. Mr Chaudhry has also accused Mr. Karavaki of lying to, and misleading the nation, to…

Polling official interferes with voting

A polling official at the Makoi Methodist Primary School on Wednesday 10 May checked a ballot paper after it had been voted with and before it was cast. He realised the voter had voted wrongly. The voter had ticked above…

Worries over transporting of Ballot Boxes

Labour is alarmed that ballot boxes from polling stations in the various constituencies throughout Fiji are not transported to the respective Count Centres soon after polling closes and the boxes are sealed. In a letter to the Supervisor of Elections,…

Missing names on Voter Rolls

Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has expressed concern that hundreds of voters arrive at polling booths with registration slips but their names are not on voter rolls. In a letter to the Supervisor of Elections, Chaudhry said arrangements should be made…

Illegal Voting in Namosi

A Labour candidate is crying foul over illegal voting that took place at her chiefly village of Veivatuloa in Namosi on Saturday May 6. Koleta Sivivatu says she was shocked to find voting going on her village on Saturday since…

Serious Concerns with the 2006 polling

The Fiji Labour Party is very disturbed at the way the 2006 general elections are being conducted. The whole process casts serious doubts on the credibility and integrity of the general election, as well as the competence of the Supervisor…

Printing of Excessive Ballot Papers

Labour queries explanations by the Supervisor of Elections regarding the printing of ballot papers much in excess of requirement for a number of constituencies, including the Ba Open Constituency. (Details attached) In a media statement, Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry said…

Utter shambles to start of polls

Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has expressed disgust at the complete shambles experienced at polling stations throughout the country at the start of polls because ballot papers were not available. “Hundreds of voters were either turned away or had to wait…

EGM’s shocking decision to close Vatukoula mines

Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has expressed shock at the decision of Emperor Mines Ltd to close its Vatukoula operations for six months. “I am even more shocked that the government should have withheld this kind of information from the people…

Labour releases final names of candidates

The Fiji Labour Party is fielding a slate of 60 candidates in the May general elections.The final list of names were released on the eve of nominations this week. The list is as follows: Fijian Communal Constituencies 1 -Kadavu Fijian…

EGM’s shocking decision to close Vatukoula mines

Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has expressed shock at the decision of Emperor Mines Ltd to close its Vatukoula operations for six months. “I am even more shocked that the government should have withheld this kind of information from the people…

Labour launches 2006 election manifesto

Labour launched its 2006 election manifesto in Nadi today releasing a package of dynamic policies to rebuild the economy, create jobs and care for the poor. Launching the Party manifesto, Leader Mahendra Chaudhry said leadership would be one of the…

Main voter roll unreliable- hundreds of names missing

Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry says the main voter registration roll is completely unreliable with hundreds of names still missing. “In many cases names that appeared on the provisional rolls are not on the main roll. In other cases names have…

Chaudhry highlights grievances of mineworkers

Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry said Vatukoula mine workers had long standing grievances regarding pay, safety working and housing conditions, environmental concerns that should to be addressed. Speaking at the annual meeting of the Fiji Mineworkers Union yesterday Chaudhry said safety…

Is devaluation the panacea for an ailing economy?

Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry warned that Fiji may be forced to take strong monetary measures soon in view of the critical state of the economy. “The UNESCAP report released yesterday supported our concerns that the economy was in a critical…

Economy not doing well: UNESCAP

A report by a UN agency shows Fiji’s economy is not doing well, sustained only by external factors – tourism and overseas remittances. Tourism and overseas remittances were bolstering the economy in the face of the sharp decline of key…

Economy not doing well: UNESCAP

A report by a UN agency shows Fiji’s economy is not doing well, sustained only by external factors – tourism and overseas remittances. Tourism and overseas remittances were bolstering the economy in the face of the sharp decline of key…

FLP names first lot of candidates

The Fiji Labour Party has released its slate of first 25 candidates for the 2006 elections headed by Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry. The FLP Management Board met last night and approved the nominations of 25 candidates to contest the 2006…

Tourism flourished under the Labour government

Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry said Tourism was one of the fastest growing sectors under his government in 1999/2000, rubbishing allegations by the Prime Minister that he had stifled it by cutting off funds. “It was one of the most dynamic…

National Economy near collapse: Labour

Fiji’s financial situation is so critical that the economy is on the verge of collapse, Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has warned. High consumer spending measured against sharply falling revenue from exports has led to a critical balance of payments situation,…

SDL govt. hands out brush cutters to buy votes

Government is handing out brush cutters to buy votes for the SDL Party, Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi, spokesman for the Fiji Labour Party has charged. Scores of brush cutters are sitting in the office of the Minister for Social Welfare Asenaca…

National Economy near collapse: Labour

Fiji’s financial situation is so critical that the economy is on the verge of collapse, Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has warned. High consumer spending measured against sharply falling revenue from exports has led to a critical balance of payments situation,…

Labour takes Supervisor of Elections to court

Labour Party’s case against the Supervisor of Election’s failure to comply with the Electoral Act with regard to the 2006 general elections, will be heard on Tuesday 28 March. The case comes up for mention before Justice Roger Coventry on…

SDL government must go: Chaudhry

The SDL government has failed the people and must be removed from office, Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry said at a Saturday meeting of General Electors. Speaking as chief guest at the annual meeting of the United People’s Party, Chaudhry said…

SDL’s 5 years in office has been a disaster

The people will not be fooled by SDL’s election promises to contain poverty and help the poor when, in the past five years, the government has failed to show any compassion for the underprivileged. “Statistics show that absolute poverty has…

Datt will contest polls for Labour

Veteran Labour politician Krishna Datt announced today that we was standing for elections on a Labour Party ticket. Datt had announced a year ago that he would be retiring from politics and would not contest the 2006 elections. In a…

Elections Office told to consider Labour’s concerns

The Elections Office has been instructed by the Electoral Commission to address concerns raised by the Labour Party regarding non compliance with the Electoral Act. Electoral Commissioner Graham Leung has written to Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry to say that he…

Labour may take court action to defer polls

Fiji Labour Party has threatened to take court action to defer the 2006 general elections scheduled for early May. Labour says the Elections Office has not met the legal requirements for the voter registration rolls to be published, properly scrutinised…

Will the elections apparatus be ready for early May polls?

Fiji Labour Party anxious about registration errors and discrepancies evident in the provisional rolls, is asking whether the Supervisor of Elections office will be ready for the May 6 elections. Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has expressed concern that 3000 names…

FLP replies to coup allegation

The Fiji Labour Party reiterates its support for all agencies responsible for law and order in the country, said Party President Jokapeci Koroi. Mrs Koroi was responding to a “highly edited” TV news story that saw her appear to be…

FLP replies to coup allegation

The Fiji Labour Party reiterates its support for all agencies responsible for law and order in the country, said Party President Jokapeci Koroi. Mrs Koroi was responding to a “highly edited” TV news story that saw her appear to be…

Yabaki was a coup plotter: coup convict

Former coup convict Maciu Navakasuasua insists Konisi Yabaki was one of the coup plotters but was now trying to “save his skin”. Yabaki, Minister for Forests and Fisheries has denied allegations by Navakasuasua and his accomplice Josaia Waqabaca that he…

Qarase a threat to future of Fijians: Nationalists

Nationalists have called on the Prime Minister to resign following his failure to push through Parliament passage of the Land Bills amending ALTA and NLTA. The Bills which intended to transfer all native agricultural leases to the ambit of the…

Army chief threatens government

The feud between the army and the government is worsening with the RFMF now threatening to take over control if the government fails to meet its responsibilities to the nation. Army chief Frank Bainimarama in a Media statement Monday accused…

Army chief threatens government

The feud between the army and the government is worsening with the RFMF now threatening to take over control if the government fails to meet its responsibilities to the nation. Army chief Frank Bainimarama in a Media statement Monday accused…

Why have coup investigations stalled?

Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has written a strong letter to the Police Commissioner regarding Police failure to follow up new clues in coup investigations. Chaudhry expressed concern that the latest disclosure by former coup convict Maciu Navakasuasua of a plot…

Chaudhry rubbishes Prime Minister’s ‘proof’

Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry labled as “laughable” the so-called evidence the Prime Minister tendered as proof that Chaudhry had tried to obtain a commission from the India loan for the sugar reform project. The Prime Minister who failed to meet…

Opposition Leader takes Prime Minister to court

Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has served a writ on Laisenia Qarase and Fiji TV regarding allegations that he had attempted to get a commission from the $86 million EXIM Bank of India loan for restructure of the sugar industry. In…

$1 million education scam: AG

Of the $2 million allocated to upgrade rural Fijian schools under the government’s affirmative action programme, half was lost through scams and misuse, the Auditor General reports. The project known as the Centre of Excellence scheme was terminated because of…

Why the Opposition could not support the land bills

The Opposition had very good reasons for not supporting the Bills to amend the ALTA and NLTA legislations in Parliament on Thursday 1 December 2005, aimed at transferring all native agricultural leases from the ambit of ALTA to NLTA. In…

Chaudhry gives PM 72 hours to apologise

Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has given the Prime Minister 72 hours to apologise to allegations that he benefited by way of commission from the $86 million Government of India loan to revamp the sugar industry. The allegation from Laisenia Qarase…

India clears Chaudhry on Haryana money

Finally, the bureau of investigation in India has cleared long-standing allegations that Mahendra Chaudhry had pocketed monies raised in his ancestral State of Haryana to help in the struggle of the Fiji-Indian community after the 2000 coup. The money was…

Fiji Pine scam exposed

Finance Minister Ratu Jone Kubuabola was axed as chairman of Fiji Pine Ltd in 1998 by the SVT government for failure to perform his duty. This was revealed in a front page story in the Fiji Sun 30 November by…

Bune exposes another vote buying scam

Deputy Leader of the Opposition Poseci Bune revealed another government attempt to buy votes through a plan to distribute 180 fishing boats by August next year. The 2006 general elections is expected to be held by mid-August 2006. The scheme…

35,000 drop out of school in five years: Labour

About 35,000 primary school children have dropped out of school in the past five years due to financial constraints, says Pratap Chand, Opposition spokesperson on Education. Speaking during debate on Budget 2006, Chand provided statistics to show that large numbers…

Datt challenges Govt’s poverty figure

Opposition Whip Krishna Datt questioned government’s claim that poverty levels were at 28% considering that poverty was effectively put at 50% in a report based on 1991 figures. A number of factors since then had contributed to higher levels of…

Datt says PM deliberately derailed land talks

The proposed Amnesty Bill was a deliberate strategy by the Prime Minister to derail the successful land consultations at the Talanoa level, says Krishna Datt. He was responding to criticisms levelled against the Opposition Leader by the government side blaming…

Datt challenges Govt’s poverty figure

Opposition Whip Krishna Datt questioned government’s claim that poverty levels were at 28% considering that poverty was effectively put at 50% in a report based on 1991 figures. A number of factors since then had contributed to higher levels of…

Opposition’s reply to Budget 2006

I rise to deliver the Opposition’s response to Budget 2006. But before that, let me, in line with long standing parliamentary convention, congratulate the Minister of Finance for his Budget presentation. I wish to congratulate our National Rugby 15s team…

Govt. must intervene to cushion hikes in fuel price

Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has called for government intervention to cushion the adverse socio-economic effects of rising fuel prices. The call comes in the wake of increases effective today that raise the price of motor spirits by 20c a litre…

Labour calls for probe in FNPF investment

Labour wants a comprehensive inquiry into the FNPF investment portfolio to see if they were in the best interests of members. Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry’s call comes in the wake of controversy over a decision to award design tender for…

Bank executive says Qoliqoli legislation a smokescreen

The legislation aimed at getting royalty to landowners for the use of the foreshore by resorts etc was just a smokescreen to satisfy a small group, a banker says. Bob Lyons, managing director of ANZ Pacific said the legislation would…

Principals slam exorbitant cost of education

Fiji Principals say free education in Fiji is a misnomer as it costs parents up to $3000 a year for lower secondary education resulting in a lot of dropouts. Speaking at the Principals conference yesterday, FPA president Susau Managreve said…

Dimuri should stop looking for scapegoats

Extremist politicians like Senator Joe Dimuri who deliberately misled landowners into not renewing leases to Indian tenant farmers to further their own political agenda, should stop blaming others, Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry said. Mr. Chaudhry was responding to comments made…

Dimuri should stop looking for scapegoats

Extremist politicians like Senator Joe Dimuri who deliberately misled landowners into not renewing leases to Indian tenant farmers to further their own political agenda, should stop blaming others, Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry said. Mr. Chaudhry was responding to comments made…

Chaudhry concerned at registration flaws for 2006 polls

Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has expressed serious concerns at flaws in voter registration that marred Saturday’s municipal elections, and its implications for the 2006 general elections. Chaudhry who has been very vocal in criticising flaws in the voter registration process…

Chaudhry concerned at registration flaws for 2006 polls

Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has expressed serious concerns at flaws in voter registration that marred Saturday’s municipal elections, and its implications for the 2006 general elections. Chaudhry who has been very vocal in criticising flaws in the voter registration process…

Fiji ranked high on corrupt nation’s list

Fiji has been given a bad listing in the corruption index making her the 55th most corrupt nation in the world The rating based on a perceptions collaboration of 159 countries by Transparency International in London, places Fiji as ninth…

Civil Service reforms unrealistic, says Chaudhry

Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has questioned the practicality of plans by the Public Service Commission to drastically reduce the size of the civil service. Mr. Chaudhry said no amount of reforms will improve the productivity, competence and efficiency of the…

Fiji ranked high on corrupt nation’s list

Fiji has been given a bad listing in the corruption index making her the 55th most corrupt nation in the world The rating based on a perceptions collaboration of 159 countries by Transparency International in London, places Fiji as ninth…

Labour alleges serious vote rigging ahead of 2006 elections

FLP has raised serious concerns about anomalies in the voter registration process currently underway for the 2006 elections – tantamount to vote rigging. The Party has lodged complaints with the Electoral Commission and is seeking a fresh start to the…

Labour alleges serious vote rigging ahead of 2006 elections

FLP has raised serious concerns about anomalies in the voter registration process currently underway for the 2006 elections – tantamount to vote rigging. The Party has lodged complaints with the Electoral Commission and is seeking a fresh start to the…

Economy continues heading towards disaster

The Reserve Bank’s latest report on the state of the economy is yet another confirmation of the gross mismanagement of the national economy and unbridled abuse of public funds by the SDL government. Reserve Bank Governor Savenaca Narube, speaking to…

Police, Army & Elections office must be independent

FLP backs the army and the Police in their fight to maintain the independence of the security forces. The conflict comes in the wake of a move by the Ministry for Home Affairs to control Budget allocated to the two…

IPU to discuss Amnesty Bill

The International Parliamentary Union will be examining the Amnesty Bill for human rights violations and may discuss it during a regional seminar in Burundi. This follows submissions by Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry in August to the peak international Parliamentary body…

Police, Army & Elections office must be independent

FLP backs the army and the Police in their fight to maintain the independence of the security forces. The conflict comes in the wake of a move by the Ministry for Home Affairs to control Budget allocated to the two…

Scrap tax holidays: Chaudhry

Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has welcomed a call by the Asian Development Bank to scrap tax holidays and other incentives to large businesses because they tend to be counter productive. In its latest report of an assessment of the private…

Datt says Bill a political ploy to win election

Poverty  Changing definitions of poverty or perception of poverty by the poor themselves does not change their reality of deprivation. Low income as the traditional basis of identifying poverty remains the more tangible criterion. However, Vijay Naidu (2005) rightly points…

Opposition Leader responds to President’s address

May I thank His Excellency the President for his address to Parliament. I am concerned, however, that this significant event in the parliamentary calendar is reduced to becoming just an annual ritual when it should be an opportunity for the…

Opposition Leader responds to President’s address

May I thank His Excellency the President for his address to Parliament. I am concerned, however, that this significant event in the parliamentary calendar is reduced to becoming just an annual ritual when it should be an opportunity for the…

Opposition Leader responds to President’s address

May I thank His Excellency the President for his address to Parliament. I am concerned, however, that this significant event in the parliamentary calendar is reduced to becoming just an annual ritual when it should be an opportunity for the…

Change the Future, says Labour

The Fiji Labour Party celebrated the 20th anniversary of its birth at the Party’s annual convention in Lautoka last week-end. A commemorative booklet highlighting the main events in the Party’s dramatic history , was launched at the convention. Speaking on…

Prime Minister must resign

The Prime Minister must resign says Chaudhry as the mounting public controversy on the Bill shows Church leaders were deliberately misled on it by the PM. “It is disgraceful that the Prime Minister should deceive Church leaders to get their…

EU monitors Fiji’s amnesty Bill

The European Union is closely monitoring developments on the amnesty Bill in the wake of widespread public criticism of the proposed legislation, says a EU spokesperson. Critics believe the Bill which provides amnesty for all those who took part in…

President tells PM to withdraw Bill

President Ratu Josefa Iloilo told the Prime Minister in a meeting on 18 June that he must withdraw the highly controversial amnesty Bill. The request surprised Prime Minister Qarase who had actually asked the President to use his influence to…

Exodus of Fiji Indians

The continued exodus overseas of skilled Fiji people of all races is a dangerous trend which will have a devastating effect on national development, Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry warned. If the trend continued, Fiji would be left with a large…

It is you who must think again, Prime Minister!

Prime Minister Qarase fools no-one with his statement that people should think again if they believe that the amnesty Bill means a general pardon for the perpetrators of the 2000 coup. The proposed Bill is very clear in its provision…

Open letter to the Prime Minister from Opposition Leader

The Prime Minister recently put out four-page advertisements in the newspapers, at heavy cost to the taxpayer. These attempt to justify the SDL government’s decision to proceed with the so-called Promotion of Reconciliation, Tolerance and Unity Bill despite widespread public…

Police beef up security for PM and top officials

Police has stepped up security around the Prime Minister and his top officials amid allegations of threats from the army. The army has, however, denied any involvement in telephone threats received by the Attorney General Qoriniasi Bale, CEO in the…

Scores protest against amnesty Bill

Over a hundred people, from all ethnic groups, mounted a protest outside parliament at Nasova  against the controversial amnesty Bill. The protesters represented various NGOs who have been actively campaigning against the Government’s decision to forge ahead with the Bill…

Labour Party walks out on the amnesty Bill

The Fiji Labour Party today decided to walk out of parliament as Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase rose to present the highly controversial amnesty Bill to the House. The FLP move was in protest against the SDL government’s decision to forge…

Outgoing US envoy says Bill paves way for coups

The US Envoy warned the amnesty Bill if allowed to pass would be setting a dangerous precedent for more coups in the future. Ambassador David Lyon in a hard hitting interview on the eve of his departure from Fiji, told…

Labour seeks Speaker’s intervention on Bill

The Opposition today tried to block tabling of the controversial amnesty Bill by asking the acting Speaker not to grant permission for government to suspend Standing Orders for it to be tabled. Not surprisingly, Acting Speaker Manasa Tugia of the…

Opposition objects to Ministers’ seat in House

The Opposition today objected to the continued presence of government Ministers in the House of Reps who had forfeited their membership by taking up public offices. Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry, speaking on a point of order, said Education Minister Ro…

Opposition to Amnesty Bill grows

A group of concerned citizens met in Suva on Monday to express their opposition to the amnesty Bill to be tabled in parliament today. The meeting was organised by the NGO Coalition and had Law Society president Graham Leung, NGO…

Criticism mounts on Unity Bill

The Police Commissioner has joined the chorus of voices critical of the Unity Bill and its adverse impact on coup-related investigations. Commissioner Andrew Hughes said yesterday that the Bill if passed could compromise police investigations into the coup because the…

Bill a contemptuous challenge to the judiciary

The Fiji government is bent on tabling in Parliament a highly controversial Reconciliation and Unity Bill which is seen by the Fiji Labour Party, other Opposition parties and civil society organisations as a contemptuous challenge to the judicial system and…

The Coups- Missed Opportunities

The illegal overthrow of democratically elected governments in 1987 and 2000 have had a traumatic impact on the nation from which we have still not recovered, Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry said. He was speaking at a Labour Party organised rememberance…

Human Rights Commission warns on Bill

The Human Rights Commission has warned that the Reconciliation Bill may be unconstitutional and in breach of the Human Rights Act. The Commission is the latest to join other civil society bodies in denouncing the proposed Bill. Director Shaista Shameem…

Army meets over Unity Bill

Top brass of the army held an emergency close door session yesterday to discuss the implications of government’s reconciliation Bill designed to grant a general pardon to those involved in the 2000 coup. Commander Frank Bainimarama just returned form an…

Army meets over Unity Bill

Top brass of the army held an emergency close door session yesterday to discuss the implications of government’s reconciliation Bill designed to grant a general pardon to those involved in the 2000 coup. Commander Frank Bainimarama just returned form an…

Army mocks reconciliation Bill

The army chief has mocked at government’s Reconciliation Bill describing it as “reconciliation bull” In a statement to the Fiji Sun Commander Frank Bainimarama said that was indicative of how they felt about the Bill which is proposed as a…