THE National Federation Party (NFP), Fiji Labour Party (FLP) and the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) will be able to operate as political parties after being officially registered under the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosures) Decree yesterday.
Registrar for political parties Mohammed Saneem made the announcement yesterday afternoon, saying that as of today the parties could operate, function, represent and hold themselves out to be political parties.
The decision was well received by the three parties.
NFP official Raman Pratap Singh said the decision was a step in the right direction.
"We have received notification of the registration and are very pleased," Mr Singh said.
"These are small steps that we are taking towards democracy. The next move for us is to meet and make decisions on the party."
FLP leader Mahendra Chaudhry welcomed the announcement, saying they hoped to operate freely.
"Now that we are registered we hope to be able to operate without restrictions," Mr Chaudhry said.
He said the FLP would strengthen its structure and work towards submitting a list of its assets and expenditure as required under the decree.
Mr Saneem said he had taken a liberal approach in assessing the applications and although he noted anomalies in all the three membership lists, he was satisfied that each contained the required amount of valid signatures.
The NFP applied for registration with 7574 member signatures, 189 of which were discounted as anomalies.
The FLP, with 8456 member signatures, had 284 signatures discounted as anomalies.
The SODELPA applied for registration with 8825 member signatures, 136 of which were discounted as anomalies.
Mr Saneem said the anomalies would be referred to the relevant authorities, including the police, for investigation and any further action. The parties have 30 days to submit to the registrar a written declaration giving details of all assets and expenditure.
This includes all donations or pledges whether in cash or in kind, made or to be made to the initial assets of the political party.