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FTUC goes ahead

Nasik Swami
Wednesday, January 16, 2013

THE Fiji Trades Union Congress hopes to form a political party despite the announcement of strict guidelines in the new Political Parties Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosure Decree 2013.

The Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, yesterday announced that under the new decree trade union officials cannot hold an office of a political party at the same time.

Giving an example Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said a general secretary of a trade union also cannot be an official of a political party at the same time.

It can only be one or the other.

While FTUC national secretary Felix Anthony has expressed concern over the new decree, he is hopeful there would be changes.

"We are determined to form a political party because that was the decision taken by the workers of this country," he said.

He also outlined that the new party was not in any way associated with the Fiji Labour Party.

"The FLP was formed to be multi-racial but over the past years the party has moved away from being multi-racial and has been taken over by one man," Mr Anthony said.

But FLP leader, Mahendra Chaudhry said there was no truth to Mr Anthony's claims.

"The FLP has a proud history of fighting for justice, defending the rights of workers and standing up to racism in what ever form — the whole country knows this," Mr Chaudhry said.

He said Mr Anthony himself, as a Labour member of parliament, was the party's spokesman on labour issues, workers and trade union rights.

"He should know better than to throw these false allegations at the party now just to pursue his personal agenda," Mr Chaudhry said.

"The trade union movement today under his leadership is the weakest it has ever been. It badly splits and lacks the commitment of its leaders."