Fiji Labour Party has questioned the distribution of 13,000 rubbish bins in the Nasinu area yesterday (Monday) by Aiyaz Khaiyum of Fiji First as nothing but a blatant vote-buying measure.
“In fact by doing so just days before the election with pre-polling starting today, he is insulting the people of Nasinu. He is implying that each Nasinu voter is worth a rubbish bin to him,” said FLP Leader Mahendra Chaudhry.
FLP calls on the Electoral Commission to investigate this and take appropriate action under Section 114 the Electoral Decree. Vote buying is an electoral offence punishable by a fine of up to $50,000 or imprisonment for a term of up to 10 years, or both.
This is not the only vote buying incidence the regime has resorted to in recent weeks. There have been unheard of bonus payments to workers in statutory authorities. Workers at the Ports Authority, the Fiji Electricity Authority and Tropik Woods were handed out bonus payments last week; Lautoka City Council workers received a pay increase recently—the first in four years- and we are now informed that Fiji Sugar Corporation staff will be getting a bonus payments.
FSC is in dire financial strife. Yet it found money to give a pay hike to workers earlier this year after denying them increases for the past three years. Where will if find the money to pay bonuses as well?
Fiji Labour Party has been urging for the establishment of a caretaker government to oversee the elections since 2012. It is clear now why no attention was paid to our calls.
Even then, the regime should now be in caretaker mode which means merely seeing to the day to day operations of the government and not implementing any new policy measures which could be interpreted as vote buying.
But the Bainimarama regime has blatantly undertaken projects that can only be interpreted as vote-buying.