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Campaign budgets

Avinesh Gopal
Wednesday, September 03, 2014

HE sold a coffee machine that he had at his home to raise money for his election campaign. Such is the financial pressure on some candidates for the September 17 General Election, with some reportedly taking loans for their campaign. There are some candidates who have budgeted tens of thousands of dollars in the quest to win a parliamentary seat.

Sandeep Singh, a People's Democratic Party candidate from Drasa in Lautoka, said his budget for the election was $10,000, of which he had been able to raise about $6000.

"I have a production company but I don't use the money from my company to fund my campaigns.

"I sold a coffee machine I had at home for $3500 to get the money I need for my campaign. My family and friends helped me too," he said.

Mr Singh, 37, said he was still trying to raise another $4000 to meet the cost of media advertisements and other things in the countdown to September 17.

On the other hand, Anendra Prasad of the Fiji Labour Party said he had spent $26,400 by last Friday and he says another $7000 would be spent until the elections.

"I've got 20 people working on the field for me and I pay them $20 a day, plus their lunch and juice," he said.

Deo Narayan, a retired police officer and FLP candidate, said he had budgeted $6000 for his election campaign and he was currently within his budget.

Dr Bijend Ram, a National Federation Party candidate, said his election budget was about $22,000.

"It includes the printing of banners and flyers, grog for campaign meetings and payment to some of my workers in the field," Dr Ram said.

"I've also got a rental car out for one month for my campaign."

Some candidates believe that contesting the election was like gambling, as there was no guarantee of winning despite the money spent.

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