Skip to content

UFDF on Bainimarama needing a Coalition partner for 2014

July 9, 2013

“Now if he needs to join in a coalition, then he’s likely to be a ‘junior partner’ the question then arises, given his heavy handed approach to date, which one of the parties is willing to join him, knowing he’ll hijack control of the coalition after the elections and possibly arrest his partners and appoint himself PM even if he has the least number of seats?”

The United Front for a Democratic Fiji says it can’t take issue with the international community supporting the regime’s elections and can only hope those engaging with it spot the game playing.

In an interview with Coupfourpointfive, the Coalition says the international community will be aware of the regime’s broken promises and its habit of changing the goal posts.

“We have encouraged the International community to

UFDF: Still no Constitution

‘ENGAGE’ not ‘EMBRACE’ the regime and get involved in the process of preparing Fiji for a return to democratic rule such as supporting and funding the Yasi Ghai Constitution process & voter registration.

“We also believe they will support ‘free, fair and transparent elections and provide monitors for the elections, so in this context we have no issue with the international community supporting the process, so long as their people who are in contact with the regime are switched on enough to wise up to the ‘games’ that are played and ensure that ‘checks and balances’ are keenly watched so they are not taken for yet another ride by the regime as was the case with the ‘Yash Ghai constitutional process.'”

The regime has established what it calls a co-ordinating committee for the elections, which it’s using to shoulder tap countries such as the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and France for support.

The U.S. has now committed $1m for the elections with a pledge to help with capacity building after that, with New Zealand saying it has been encouraged by what it says is ‘progress in recent months’.

Recent coverage in the Fiji media suggested widespread and unconditional support for the 2014 elections but the Coalition says it should be taken with a pinch of salt.

“The regime will always spin their story, so that it looks like a ‘softening’ of the International communities stance. We certainly do not expect New Zealand, AUS and the USA  to be easily swayed by the ongoing  ‘rhetoric’ and façade being promoted by the regime.”

Despite coverage by local media it is unclear how much money the regime has obtained for its elections. The UFDF says it’s all guesswork at this stage.

“At this time NO, however we are all aware there is the $50 million promised by Papua New Guinea and considering the last elections costs about $12 million we are assuming this one should not exceed $24 million.”

It has been revealed that just one day will be allowed for the poll but there are still some 240,000 people in the urban areas yet to be registered.

The UFDF says a close-off date should be set but registration should be ongoing to allow “enough time to get the rolls and names of the registered people checked and rechecked and ready well ahead of election day so as many people as possible can be registered.”

The regime has been busy establishing rules for the four parties that managed to register but interest continues to swirl around the fortunes of Bainimarama at the poll, if in fact it goes ahead and he stands.

Some have suggested the dictator will win some seats but will need a Coalition partner to get him through.

The UFDF says unlike the political parties, Bainimarama has not had to reveal any of his plans for 2014.

“We can’t really comment on the number of seats FB’s party will win just yet because he still has not registered his party, and has not been able to come up with his 5,000 signatures so we don’t know who he has to manage and co-ordinate his party and election campaign and who will stand with him in a general elections, there is still no constitution and we don’t know what kind of electoral system they will end up with?

“All of these things will tell us if Frank Bainimarama can win seats and if so how many?

“Now if he needs to join in a coalition, then he’s likely to be a ‘junior partner’ the question then arises, given his heavy handed approach to date, which one of the parties is willing to join him, knowing he’ll hijack control of the coalition after the elections and possibly arrest his partners and appoint himself PM even if he has the least number of seats?”

Political parties were recently required to reveal their assets, including those of the wives and children of officials, something Frank Bainimarama and Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum keep saying they will do but keep dragging their feet on.

PRAMOD RAE

Pramod Rae, the longtime stalwart of the country’s oldest party, the National Federation Party, told Coupfourpointfive it remains to be seen what’s ahead for the parties.

“The registration and declarations by the registered parties are only small initial steps.

“All registered parties still have to meet numerous other stringent requirements like maintaining offices in all divisions, organising and keeping a large array of specified records at each office which members of the public have the right to demand and see and even take copies of.

“Parties are required to have asset management procedures, maintain policy documents, prepare and keep membership and  financial information  including budgets, audits etc.
“Much of these requirements are of a highly technical nature requiring substantial resources and with the risk of severe penalties including fines and prison, parties will require the services of highly skilled and qualified personnel.
“With sources funding and quantum severely restricted parties will have great difficulty in resourcing themselves to meet the requirements.”
Rae says things remain largely unknown despite the seeming progress of recent months with four parties being allowed to register.

“In addition with the regime changing direction so many times the political direction of the country remains a moving target.

“A constitution of some sort has yet to be promulgated. Bainimarama had initially said it would be April 2013.  Then he said June, July, September and back to July! Not knowing the details of an electoral system and numerous regulations yet to be made is an impediment for the parties to be able to plan any kind of approach to an election any time in the immediate future. “

Posted by Rusi Varani for SWM
Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: