Fiji Time: 7:34 PM on Wednesday 26 October

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Chief supports PDP

Siteri Sauvakacolo
Wednesday, May 07, 2014

A western chief has pledged his full support to the People's Democratic Party.

Momo na Tui Saqele in Vakabuli, Lautoka, Ratu Iliesa Raseru, 50, was part of more than 2000 supporters who turned up for the party's annual general meeting at the Girmit Centre in Lautoka last Saturday.

"I'm one of the first chiefs to pledge my full support for the PDP," he said after the meeting.

"I have thrown my full support because of the party policy and its promise to reinstate the Great Council of Chiefs and the return of iTaukei rights.

"We the landowners want our rights back and this is why we support this party."

He said party executive Adi Sivia Qoro visited them earlier and read parts of the party manifesto to them.

"When she came to us, I heard of their manifesto and since then I have made a promise to support them because I am a landowner.

"Indigenous landowners have their rights under the PDP manifesto. My village has thrown its full support for the PDP."

Ratu Raseru said PDP guaranteed Fijians their rights.

In his speech on Saturday, newly elected party leader Felix Anthony said indigenous customs, traditions, institutions and values formed an intrinsic part of iTaukei identity.

Mr Anthony said the PDP recognised the value of indigenous knowledge. which cut across many different sectors and was a source of sustainable livelihood for the rural poor.

"The party will introduce policies and legislation to mainstream indigenous knowledge, protect its intellectual property and minimise the risks of foreign commercial exploitation or extinction in the face of competing global knowledge systems and technologies," he said.

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