THE National Federation Party yesterday announced four more candidates to contest the September election.
The four names announced were former Ministry of Trade and Commerce employee Simione Naituku, Justice of the Peace Deven Magan, Pino Venasio — a history and politics undergraduate student at USP who hails from Rotuma, and NFP leader Professor Biman Prasad himself.
Mr Naituku believes that "powerful, courageous and visionary leadership" is needed to uplift the economy and combat poverty and unemployment in Fiji.
"Mr Magan has an active involvement in social work. He served as a Suva City Councillor for 20 years from 1999 to 2009 until all municipal councils were dissolved by decree by this government," Mr Prasad said yesterday.
Mr Venasio, who hails from Juju in Rotuma, joined NFP to highlight social, political and economic advancement on Rotuma.
"This brings to 45 the total number of candidates announced so far to contest the election under the NFP banner," Mr Prasad said.
"However, this number is being reduced to 43 following the promulgation of the Electoral Amendment Decree last week (Decree No. 26), stipulating residency period contrary to common understanding and past electoral legislation."
He said while there would have been 45 candidates, recent penalties placed upon now former candidates Makereta Waqavonovono and Jone Vakalalabure have reduced NFP's candidate number to 43.
"It is regrettable that this has resulted in the withdrawal of two of our competent and highly qualified candidates who have been penalised by this amendment decree."
Ms Waqavonovono is a lawyer, former magistrate and former director of the Legal Aid Commission. She recently studied for a Masters degree in Australia. Mr Vakalalabure also recently returned from Australia with a Masters Degree in International Relations.