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Mixed reactions

Shalveen Chand
Sunday, August 24, 2014

THERE were mixed reactions when Fiji First party leader and Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama held an election campaign meeting with some Fijians in Australia yesterday.

Rear Admiral (Ret) Bainimarama met former Fiji residents at Canterbury Town Hall in Sydney.

According to Australian media reports, while there were some people present to support Rear Admiral (Ret) Bainimarama, some Fijians were there to protest his visit to Australia.

The ABC reported Rear Admiral (Ret) Bainimarama was greeted by protesters in Sydney.

It said hundreds of Fijians attended a rally in Sydney's south-west to coincide with a visit by Rear Admiral (Ret) Bainimarama.

Supporters of Rear Admiral (Ret) Bainimarama went inside Canterbury Town Hall for a question-and-answer session and according to ABC, other members of the Fijian community, including those in the Fiji Democracy Freedom Movement, were not allowed in and they protested outside. The report said a line of police officers stopped the protesters from entering the hall.

ABC reported the protestors claiming the election process favoured Rear Admiral (Ret) Bainimarama's political party.

They also condemned Australia's Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop for allowing Rear Admiral (Ret) Bainimarama to visit, ABC reported.

The Fijian PM was greeted with similar protests on his visit to New Zealand early this month.

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