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A-G urges political clarity

Aqela Susu
Thursday, December 07, 2017

IF corruption will not be uprooted from political parties and they come into power, they will perpetuate the culture of non-accountability, says Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

While addressing participants at a seminar on the International Anti-Corruption Day on Monday, he said this was why it was important to set a culture of transparency.

And with elections to be held next year, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Government had brought in the Political Parties Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosures Act to be tested in the 2014 General Election to promote accountability and transparency among political parties.

He said some political parties were against the Act because it brought about greater transparency.

"Previously there were no such laws in Fiji so previously anyone could go and donate money to political parties and could donate any amount of money," he said.

"And as we've seen previously where certain individuals or companies have actually funded political parties and once that particular political party wins Government, they get special favours because of the fact they funded them to run the elections or conduct their campaigns.

"Why should a company donate money to a political party unless they want something in return?"

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said there was a need to set a culture of transparency.

"It's not something simply to sit down here and have a talk about it and say yes we must address corruption. You must be able to address it in a very tangible manner.

"And if you don't uproot it or get rid of it from political parties and of course you will inculcate a culture that should those political parties come into Government, then they will of course perpetuate that culture of non-accountability," he said.

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