2022 Fiji Election: Baininmarama should ‘look at himself in the mirror’ – Biman

NFP Leader Prof Biman Prasad.Picture:BALJEET SINGH

National Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad has called on FijiFirst leader Voreqe Bainimarama to “look at himself in the mirror” for saying the 1997 constitution was racist and appointments made under it were not merit-based.

“If Voreqe Bainimarama is to be believed that the 1997 constitution was racist and appointments made under it were not merit-based, then Bainimarama’s appointment as Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces in March, 1999 wasn’t based on merit,” he said. During a recent rally in Navua, Mr Bainimarama said his Government had appointed all CEOs and permanent secretaries on merit and if they were terminated, both Sitiveni Rabuka and Prof Prasad would replace them with people who did not deserve the position.

He said they would be “macawa” (useless) people who were not picked on merit. The People’s Alliance has said it would terminate all permanent secretary positions and re-advertise it within 100 days of the party coming into power.

It said some permanent secretaries and CEOs, particularly expatriates, were paid exorbitant salaries compared with their local counterparts.

In response, Prof Prasad said the FijiFirst leader should “look at himself in the mirror” before he labelled Prof Prasad a traitor for working together with Mr Rabuka.

“If Voreqe Bainimarama is to be believed that the 1997 Constitution was racist and appointments made under it weren’t merit-based, then Bainimarama’s appointment as commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces in March 1999 wasn’t based on merit,” he said.

“Labelling a Constitution racist, that was formulated and received unanimous support of both Houses of Parliament, is treachery. Abrogating the 1997 Constitution is treachery.

“By calling the 1997 Constitution racist and accusing Rabuka of trying to remove senior civil servants and replacing them with those lacking merit, the FijiFirst leader has ridiculed his own appointment as army commander under section 112(2) of the 1997 Constitution.”

Prof Prasad said his appointment was made when the SVT government was in power.

“It is useless to advise the Prime Minister to talk about issues affecting our people because he, together with his sidekick, the Attorney-General and their puppets have shamelessly resorted to gutter-level and racist rhetoric and a campaign of fear-mongering, lies and deceit.”

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