LABOUR Minister Jone Usamate has asserted his interest to contest in the much-anticipated 2014 General Election in September.
Mr Usamate told this newspaper in Seaqaqa, Macuata, early this week that he would be applying to be part of the Prime Minister's proposed Fiji First party.
"Yes, I am going to stand for the election and I am declaring my interest in being part of the Prime Minister's proposed party," he said.
"I will be applying to the proposed party and if I am considered, I will be available to stand."
Mr Usamate said the government had done a lot for the people of Fiji and it was only wise for him to join his proposed movement, one that was foreseen to bring prosperity and improved livelihoods for all Fijians. Meanwhile, responding to concerns raised at a Ministry of Labour public consultation in Savusavu this week, he said any union member was eligible to stand in the upcoming election provided they did not hold any leadership roles.
"Anybody who is a member of a union can stand for election but if you are in a leadership position in that union, you have to choose one or the other," he said.
"Those who are in leadership positions should resign from the post in order to stand. You can't be holding a leadership role and at the same time, stand for election. You need to be neutral and stand on your own."
It was earlier reported that the Minister for Women Dr Jiko Luveni and Sports Minister Commander Viliame Naupoto have also shown their interest in joining the PM's proposed political movement.