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Fijian Elections Office lifts NFP suspension

Sikeli Qounadovu
Friday, February 19, 2016

THE three National Federation Party members of Parliament will be part of the next sitting of Parliament.

Speaker of Parliament Dr Jiko Luveni confirmed that NFP members Dr Biman Prasad, Roko Tupou Draunidalo and Prem Singh would be reinstated with all parliamentary roles and privileges in the next sitting in April.

This after the Fijian Elections Office lifted the suspension of the party because of an alleged breach of section 26 (1) of the Political Parties Decree, 2013.

NFP leader Dr Biman Prasad said he would make an official statement today.

This newspaper has been reliably informed that despite the lifting of the suspension, the party intends to continue with legal action in the High Court against the decision to suspend the party.

In a letter sent to the FEO yesterday afternoon, NFP lawyers from Munro Leys said appeal proceedings were lodged with the High Court on Monday with the documentation yet to be issued out by the High Court registry.

"The NFP takes the view that the interests of its members and supporters, as well as the electors of NFP members of Parliament, require that it take all practical steps to ensure that its suspension is lifted.

"The validity or otherwise of the decision you made in connection with the suspension are matters for the court, on another day," the letter read.

FEO supervisor Mohammed Saneem confirmed the suspension had been lifted after receiving the audited accounts of the party yesterday afternoon.

"The accounts were audited by Sushil Dutt from Parkers Business Solution Chartered Accountants.

"We conducted a verification and found that the auditor has a certificate of public practice and that the name does appear on the FIA (Fiji Institute of Accounts) website," Mr Saneem said.

He said they had informed the NFP through its lawyer Richard Naidu of the lifting of the suspension.

"Being satisfied that the NFP has duly remedied the breach of the decree, I hereby uplift the suspension of the registration of NFP with immediate effect.

"With the lifting of the suspension of the registration of NFP as a political party under the decree, NFP is now with immediate effect entitled to all the rights and privileges of a registered political party under the decree."

On February 1, Mr Saneem suspended NFP, claiming its accounts were audited by an accountant (APNR Partners) not certified by the FIA.

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