- In a joint statement issued today Fiji’s major political parties have called on the Prime Minister and the Attorney General to disclose their incomes and assets, including properties they have acquired since seizing power.
- They should also disclose moneys held by them in their overseas accounts and properties held there, if any.
- The statement said that it is a well-known fact that the Prime Minister and the Attorney General and their close family members have acquired several up market properties in Fiji since 2006. They must in keeping with their oft-repeated calls for transparency and accountability declare their finances and assets and liabilities to the nation ahead of asking political parties and their officials to do so.
- The Prime Minister must also explain to the people why, as Finance Minister since 2008, he has refused to accede to repeated calls to publish government accounts and finances and the Auditor General’s reports thereon, as required under the Finance Management Act.
- Why is the Prime Minister flouting the law on government finances? He must also explain why the audited accounts of the Prime Minister’s Flood and Cyclone Relief Funds are not published for the information of the people and the donors.
- And why, we ask has he continued to block the audit and publishing of the RFMF Regimental Funds?
- If the Prime Minister and the Attorney General refuse to themselves submit to the accountability and transparency requirements they are demanding of the others, then it is plainly obvious that they have much to hide from the people.
- It is well known that official corruption is at an all-time high under the current administration. Indeed, Transparency International has excluded Fiji from its Corruption Perception Index listing 178 countries because of a lack of data and in its last 2010 survey on Budget Transparency it gave Fiji zero out of 100 points saying it is virtually impossible for Fiji citizens to hold its government accountable for its management of the public’s money.
Ratu Jone Kubuabola
Member Executive Committee
Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua Party
Mahendra P. Chaudhry
Fiji Labour Party
United Peoples Party
National Federation Party
Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions