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Party work hampered

Avinesh Gopal
Saturday, January 04, 2014

THE National Federation Party says its work has been hampered because the electoral decree has not been promulgated.

However, realising that time is short for the election which is due before September 30, the party is doing whatever preparations it can.

NFP president Raman Singh said the party was making necessary preparations by holding branch meetings and forming polling committees.

"But we are hampered in our work because the electoral decree has not been promulgated yet," Mr Singh said.

"And we urge the government to expedite the process."

"We also urge the government to appoint a Supervisor of Elections and the Electoral Commission as time is short for the election."

Mr Singh said the Constitution stated that the elections would be held under one constituency, saying the party anticipated the ballot paper to be large.

He said the voter had to make only one choice and political parties needed details on the ballot paper too.

"If all these details are out, then we will be assisted in holding meetings and explaining to voters how to cast their votes.

"We are eagerly awaiting those details so that our meetings with people are fruitful. In the meantime, we are holding pocket meetings and forming branches."

While releasing the National Register of Voters last month, the Attorney-General and Minister Responsible for Elections, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, said: "The rules pertaining to the elections are currently being drafted."

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said once the rules were completed, approved and gazetted, training would be conducted for political parties on how the rules work.

Meanwhile, Mr Singh said party officials had toured places from Valelawa in Seaqaqa to Bua.

He said the party would visit cane areas in the North next month and support was looking good so far.

"We anticipate our working committee meeting in Nadi in early February and the annual general meeting in Ba in late March," he said.

In an interview with The Fiji Times last month, Mr Singh had said the party would definitely be in parliament and part of the government after September 2014.

Mr Singh also said the party has not held any talks and neither would it do so with other political parties regarding a coalition before the election.

He stated at the party's golden jubilee celebration in Nadi last month that the party would contest the election on its own.

"But we shall be open for talks on coalition after getting into parliament. Our aim is to be in government so that we can help our people," he said in an earlier interview.

The party is yet to advertise for expressions of interest from people interested in contesting the election on a NFP ticket, as it was waiting for the electoral legislation to be announced.

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