ECONOMIST and former University of the South Pacific academic Professor Biman Prasad is the National Federation Party's new leader.
Prof Prasad was elected to lead the country's oldest political party at the party's AGM at the Nadi Sangam College yesterday.
In his maiden speech, the vocal economist called on the Prime Minister, Rear Admiral Voreqe Bainimarama to join him in a public debate.
"Mr Bainimarama, if you indeed are ready to stand on your record, join me in a public debate on your record," he said.
Speaking to about 400 supporters, Prof Prasad said Fiji was at a "critical juncture".
"I have consulted widely across the country. Based on hundreds of interactions, I have a clear message on their behalf for Mr Bainimarama.
"They do not buy your propaganda. I have infinite trust in the goodness of our people. Come September, they will do the right thing."
He said the NFP would re-claim its rightful place in Fiji's politics and would return to parliament with a substantial number of seats.
"â€¦For people like me who have stayed in this country despite the events since 1987 feel that this country has a lot to offer. This is a great country we need to build."