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Fiji police drag feet on election decree breaches

April 25, 2014

Two more complaints have been filed against Frank Bainimarama for breaching the regime’s own decrees, aimed at annihilating the political parties at the September poll.

Fiji police say they are investigating but our question is: Will there be a quick outcome as when the chair of the Media Industry Authority, Ashwin Raj, decided without a hearing that Ratu Timoci Vesikula had made a ‘hate speech’ and that Fiji TV was wrong to run it?

Raj ruled within a day of receiving the complaint from Sharon Smith Jones of the Fiji Ministry of Information.

Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum listed as buying Fiji First domain

The United Front for a Democratic Fiji and Mick Beddoes filed the complaint about Bainimarama campaigning without first registering his party on March 30 and for using the country’s coat of arms on his campaign bus on April 1.

Another two complaints were filed yesterday (one of exerting influence on party officials and the other that Bainimarama doesn’t have the required 5,000 signatures yet is in full campaign mode), but there has been no comment other than police acknowledging complaints have been made. Par for the course. 

Bainimarama has been using government and taxpayer resources to vote hunt, for at least two years, if not longer, bringing us to another discovery: there is  evidence his strategist, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, bought the domain name Fiji First several years ago – 2009, according to some sources.

Bainimarama revealed only recently he was going to the polls under the banner Fiji First, a name we now know has been around since 2008 and the 2012 Constitution consultations.

Question: When was the plan for an election hatched? – and was the domain name bought in anticipation of installing Bainimarama ‘legally’ in government, even before they started manufacturing decrees? 

Another question: Is Qorvis still being paid $1million in Fiji taxpayer dollars to fund Bainimarama’s campaign?

Ashwin Raj speaks of the need for media to play fair, but it’s the political parties who are getting the raw deal.

In recent days Fiji Village made a big fuss about SODELPA youth leader, Pita Waqavonovono, getting ticked off for using swear words in a tweet about Fiji First.

In another story, a second SODELPA official, Tupeni Baba, was cited as ‘complimenting’ Bainimarama for his campaign style of going out to the people.

The Fiji Sun, meanwhile, trumpeted ‘True democracy is a high turnout at the polls’ plus the line “The prime minister has shown it pays to get out among the people.”

It only pays though, it seems, when Bainimarama gets accolades and not a talking to, as Timoci Vesikula gave him at the Tailevu Provincial Council meeting.

Be prepared for more ‘fair play rulings’ while genuine complaints are delayed or buried. 

Editor’s Note: C4.5 did not run the Vesikula speech and the MIDA reaction at the time and takes the opportunity to publish both at this time. We will also try to catch up on some of the debate that came about as a result of the ‘mixing water and kerosene’ comment.


source- c4.5, Posted by Rusi Varani for SWM

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