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Fiji Time: 4:33 PM on Monday 21 April

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Election rules set out

Avinesh Gopal
Friday, January 03, 2014

PRIME Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama says negative political and personal attacks and distorting the facts are corrosive and manipulative and have no place in the 2014 Election.

Commodore Bainimarama said the diseased political behaviour of the past was and must be over and done with.

"Fijians deserve a positive campaign on the issues. And Fijians must demand it," he said in his new year's message to the nation on Wednesday.

"As Fijians go to the elections later this year, they can be confident that their vote will count, and that the fraud of the past will be prevented.

"Our new election system is and will be transparent and the structure and processes provide for a higher degree of integrity than ever before."

Commodore Bainimarama said a record number of Fijians had registered to vote in this year's election, saying it was about 540,000. He urged those who have not yet registered to do so.

"In the year ahead, each one of us need do our part for one another, for our children and for our country to usher in a new era of parliamentary democracy, opportunity and prosperity.

"To make this our reality will require the energy and effort of all Fijians.

"I am giving it my total commitment. We must look forward as we walk through that doorstep to parliamentary democracy.

"The future is in your hands and there is no doubt that there are greater things ahead for Fiji."

Commodore Bainimarama also said the Constitution was a foundation for the nation that guaranteed all Fijians more rights.

He said the Constitution guaranteed equality, it was inclusive of all and unites all as one nation.

"Our Constitution protects and guarantees land ownership; it protects the rights of tenants; gives freedom of religion in private and public; it sets new standards of accountability for public office holders and it gives our youth a voice.

"We have dedicated ourselves to being an educated and knowledge based nation.

"We are investing an unprecedented amount in education — investing in Fijians, investing in our youth for Fiji, for our future primary and tertiary education is now completely free.

Commodore Bainimarama also said the work of public service was focused and being held accountable on providing Fijians with the services they are entitled to.

He said Fiji was in a state of constantly becoming a better country "and together we yet have much to do".