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Fiji Time: 9:35 PM on Wednesday 17 September

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Fear tactics claim

Felix Chaudhary
Sunday, July 20, 2014

FEAR tactics employed by the government is stopping people from participating in political rallies in the Western Division, says Fiji Labour Party candidate Vyas Deo Sharma.

Speaking to this newspaper yesterday, Mr Sharma said support for the party in 2014 was the same as it was in 1999 when the FLP won the general elections convincingly.

"We know we have support because when we approach people to hold meetings at their homes — and these are the same people who hosted us in 1999 — they have all agreed to do so," he said.

"But it is very unfortunate that when we hold meetings, people do not show up in numbers because police vehicles begin going up and down the road."

Mr Sharma claimed a police vehicle was parked across the rally venue at Field 40 in Lautoka on Friday night.

"This instills fear in people and this is not the free and fair elections process that the current government has promised."

Mr Sharma said one sided media reports about how well the government was serving the poor in the country was totally opposite to the reality on the ground.

"The Bainimarama government has not done anything good for the country when you have close to 70 per cent of the rural people living in poverty.

"Many families struggle to put food on the table even though the Bainimarama government has given free tuition and bus fares because the cost of basic food items is so sky-high.

"They give a little bit in one hand and take a lot from the other."

Responding to Mr Sharma's claim that political meetings and rallies were being monitored, police chief operations officer ACP Rusiate Tudravu said no directive had been given as such.

"Any allegation like that needs to be reported," he said.

"Police never been given a directive to do such things and politicians are free to report any intimidatory tactics to our headquarters."