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Two new candidates

Shayal Devi
Friday, August 08, 2014

FOLLOWING in the footsteps of his parliamentarian father, the late Siddiq Moidin Koya, lawyer Siddiq Faizal Koya is hopeful of winning when contesting the September election on a National Federation Party ticket.

Mr Koya, a barrister and solicitor with Siddiq Koya Lawyers, has served as legal adviser to the Nadi Rotary Club, speaker of the Fiji Muslim League and Ma'natul Islam Association.

"I have chosen to stand for this party as for me, there was no other," he said.

"Since 2001, executives of NFP have requested for me to stand in the 2001 and 2006 elections.

"I had deferred it until today.

"I was approached by another party to stand in this election but I believed in the principles of NFP and its constitution.

"For me personally, I would never turn my father in his grave.

"My attraction to stand behind our leader and colleagues in this party is that we all collectively are not carrying any past luggage or baggage. We have the intention to serve."

Mr Koya and fellow West-based lawyer Semi Titoko were officially named as NFP candidates by party leader Professor Biman Prasad at a conference in Lautoka yesterday.

"This brings the total number of NFP candidates to 45," Mr Prasad said.

"This number would have been 48 had it not been for the Electoral Amendment Decree's definition of 'ordinarily resident'."

On Tuesday, two of NFP's candidates, Makereta Waqavonovono and Jone Vakalalabure, had to withdraw their candidacy as a result of the amendment to this decree.

Former national rugby union representative Seru Rabeni withdrew for the same reason after being endorsed.

Mr Prasad said Mr Titoko was employed as a court clerk in the judiciary for eight years between 1992 and 2000 and had worked in the Nadi and Suva Magistrates Court and High Court in Lautoka.

"He was then a private law student at the University of the South Pacific between 2003 and 2008. He has been practising as a lawyer since 2009. He is operating the firm of Qarcia Barristers and Solicitors in Vaileka, Rakiraki.

"Mr Titoko has been approached by the chiefs of Ra to be the voice of the Ra people in parliament. The chiefs have endorsed his decision to contest the election under the NFP banner."

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