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Balawa's bid for change

Aqela Susu
Tuesday, February 06, 2018

"THE whole country needs a change." This was what motivated former senior military officer and former protocol officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sila Balawa to take up politics.

Mr Balawa was among the 31 provisional candidates who will be contesting this year's general election under the National Federation Party.

"I think the whole country needs a change. The mood is there. We feel the mood and the vibes around the communities. They all feel we need a change and we need to get back to a more inclusive government and a more consultative government," Mr Balawa said.

"We need a government that listens to the people and formulates policies that people can recognise and take ownership of.

"We have to eradicate the underlying fear within the communities.

"Those are the things that actually motivated me to come back."

He said he chose to contest the election under the NFP because it was an old and established party.

"They have always fought for the poor, weak, the marginalised, for people's rights, farmers' rights.

"I saw in their 2014 manifesto the position on indigenous rights which is something I feel accurately reflects the cries of the indigenous people."

He added there was also a need for people of all races to come together and discuss issues that affected their daily livelihoods.

"We have to sit together and balance the needs and aspirations. The main things are consultations for everybody, including the iTaukei."

Meanwhile, while speaking at the party's candidates announcement in Suva last week, NFP leader Professor Biman Prasad said their line-up for this year's general election was not "just ordinary candidates".

"These are not ordinary people. No one in our team is," Prof Prasad said.

"We want you, in the meantime, to get to know them, meet them, talk to them and tell you how they, and we, can serve you better inside and outside Parliament."

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