News and Comments Thursday 5 September 2013

"The way forward"
NZ HAILS ELECTION PROGRESS. NZ Foreign Minister Murray McCully wants to see Fiji's election machinery supported in every way to help the island nation "cross that line" He said the release of the 2013 Constitution was part of a practical progress towards election.

In an interview with RNZI, McCully  said: "Let's be fair. There is a steady stream now of activities that are all consistent with elections being held in 2014 as the Fijian administration has said they would be. I think we did see in the latter part of 2012 some steps in a backwards direction that we expressed concerns about at the time, but since then, we've seen quite a lot of progress, seen four political parties registered to contest the elections, we've seen very practical progress being made."

McCully did, however, say there were some provisions in the Draft Constitution that he hoped would be discussed further. "But we want to look positively at what's going on there. Progress is being made towards the machinery for elections and the ground rules for elections in the form of the Constitution, and we want to support that process in every way we can. McCully was speaking from Majuro in the Marshall Islands where he is attending the 44th Pacific Islands Forum.

Related article. Pacific Islands Forum supports constitution

FBC POLL. "With Australia and New Zealand now supporting the new Constitution, should all travel restrictions against Fiji stop? Yes 79%, No 21% but so far only 54 people have voted.
Click here for more.

MICK BEDDOES speaking for the United Front for a Democratic Fiji (UFDF) said it stands by its claim that there cannot be free and fair elections under the regime's constitution as the entire election apparatus will be controlled by them. Speaking of the easing of the NZ position towards Fiji, he said " What PM Keys needs to understand is that the regime's constitution is not based on democratic principles but is tailored to keep the regime in power. It has no legitimacy and is being unilaterally imposed on the people at gunpoint."
Comment.The constitution does no such thing and, apart from its immunity provisions, has been widely applauded by many government opponents.

BABA SAYS NO WAY. SODELPA'S Dr Tupeni Baba, says "In no way will Australia and New Zealand push us to elections. NFP's Raman Pratap Singh says Australia and New Zealand’s acceptance of the Constitution doesn’t matter. "We have to live under this constitution and as such we have a different perspective to look at it."Acting PM Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says despite what’s coming from the political front, the government will hold elections in September 2014
Comment. Which poses one big question for the old parties: stand for elections and have some influence in the future of Fiji, or do not stand and become irrelevant.  I can't see the likes of Beddoes or Baba following the latter route. Their political careers have been marked by position and party switches, partly based on principle or necessity but mainly based  on political survival. So what do they hope to gain by adopting their present stance?

THE PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC PARTY has accused the old political parties, the SODELPA, FLP, and NFP, of being all talk and no action. Spokesman Nirmal Singh said the PDP would never join their United Front for a Democratic Fiji.  Instead, despite some reservations, they have welcomed the "forward movement undertaken by Government" towards elections in 2014.

FIJIAN HOLDINGS LTD has  recorded a group consolidated income of $233 million for the financial year ending June 30, 2013. Total assets grew by 32% to $475m with an investment portfolio of $210m.

Founded in 1984 to accelerate iTaukei participation in the economy, FHL is now a major player in Fiji's corporate sector. Its shareholders include Provincial Councils, the iTaukei Land Trust Board, the Fijian Affairs Board, tikina (district) and village groups, iTauke co-operatives, individual iTaukei and family companies. Shareholders equity grew during the year by 15%  to reach $202m.

CALLING ALL OVERSEAS FIJIANS. The Elections Office is calling on all Fijian citizens living overseas who want to register to vote in the 2014 parliamentary  elections to submit an expression of interest online.This is the first step from the Elections Office to register overseas voters.

Submission of an expression of interest is not mandatory to be eligible to register. It is simply designed to help the Elections Office plan for the deployment of resources in order to best cater for Fijians.

Those wishing to vote are asked to complete a form on the Elections Office website ( which includes name, date of birth, city and country of residence, passport number and email address. A valid Fijian passport will be required in order to register as an overseas voter. If the passport is due to expire within the next six months, it will need to be renewed. The Electronic Voter Registration (EVR) system requires that individuals register in person so that they can give their thumbprint and have their photograph taken.
Click here to read more.

ALBERT WENDT. Samoan writer, poet, and academic at USP, the University of Hawaii and the University of Auckland Emeritus Professor Maualaivao Albert Wendt has been been awarded NZ's highest honour, the Order of New Zealand, which is limited to only 20 people.  Malo, Albert.


Anonymous said…
I am really glad that McCully has seen the light and fully supports now Fiji's bid for democratic elections and a legitimate government in 2014. While regime opponents such as Beddoes still bicker about immunity provisions and curtailment of the bill of rights, the region has started to move forward and embraces the reforms and the progress Bainimarama has made. With assistance from PNG, it will be ensured that the forthcoming elections are free and fair and it is quite remarkable that Australia, the EU and do no longer insist to send election monitors to Fiji. As a consequence we can now expect an election outcome that a vast majority of Fiji's population wants and needs: The confirmation of the effective political partnership between Bainimarama and Khaiyum as an elected and legitimate government.
isoa79 said…
'apart from its immunity provisions' as it this is no significant thing. it absolves all the thugs and their croneis of ANY accountability but then requires accountability from the new goverrnment??! rather self-serving, wouldn't you agree? With this provision the regime have made sure they are above the constitution and can rewrite it again any time they like.
Anonymous said…
This is an excellent strategy to marginalise Bainimarama. Perfect timing with the high level forum meeting to be attended by anyone that matters (unlike the so called piddly PDIF). Now wait and watch the dictator squeal like a pig? Well done NZ and Oz - play him like the trout that he is...
Sugarcane Man said…
> I can't see the likes of Beddoes or Baba following the latter route. Their political careers have been marked by position and party switches, partly based on principle or necessity but mainly based on political survival.

Croz, you really should try to be more understanding of peoples motives. Beddoes is in a bind, stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Does he stand by his principles and boycott the constitution and the election system it forces on us, knowing full well that this will essentially leave the minorities out in the cold without representation?

You like to blog on here as if its you and your pals in govt versus "them", forgetting completely that you're dealing with real human beings who've spent their entire lives working towards the betterment of Fiji, only to have everthing they've worked for destroyed by jonny-come-latelys who only care about covering their own asses.

Anonymous said…
Sugarcane Man
Beddoes is a self serving politician who wants to put his snout back into the trough. Your claim that he has worked his entire life for the betterment of Fiji is simply ridiculous. Compare this lazy slob with our AG and our PM. These man do the work of more than 20 ministers in the old government, they have moved Fiji forward by lightyears and have selflessly sacrificed themselves for the betterment of Fiji.
Anonymous said…
Sugarcane Man
Would you vote Beddoes or Baba as your PM? Can you imagine them and other so called good for nothing politicians leading this nation? These people were leaders from 1990's to 2006 era - the darkest years of this proud nation! No thank you. These politicians need to be exposed to the younger generation and be held accountable for the shithole they created during those damned years. Their current supporters are just plain evil.
Anonymous said…
Really anonymous chin dribbler?
So how much is the illegal AG slob paying himself of taxpayers money through his Aunt's business? And how much is the lazy slob thieving aunt getting in commission. Blatant theft!! Now go wipe your chin.
Sugarcane Man said…
@Anonymous 10:03am

> Beddoes is a self serving politician who wants to put his snout back into the trough.

When has his snout ever been in the trough? He has never been in government and never sucked the people dry like your two heroes who pay themselves almost a million dollars a year. He made his own money building his own tourism business.. starting from nothing, and never depended on a salary from taxpayers to survive.

> Your claim that he has worked his entire life for the betterment of Fiji is simply ridiculous.

How is it ridiculous? He has been involved in political life since he was a young man... being a voice for the minorities mostly, but never at the expense of the majority.

On the other hand your heroes Bainimarama and Khaiyum have never EVER shown any interest in serving people. The former came to power only to save himself from arrest, and the latter got selected by the former for his cunning and willingness to defy the law.

Before the coup, did you ever see either of them make a visit to any people in the community to find out how they could help? Did you ever see any of them spend their own money to fight for the rights of the weak?

Feel free to say what you want about Beddoes, but don't for a moment fool yourself into thinking that your two heroes have anyone but themselves at heart.
rusi said…
Yes Beddoes is nothing like the 'life-president of the fiji banana republic' who is skilled at junkets for himself and entourage, organising sweet jobs for his cronies and family and not willing to dsisclose actually how much taxpayers money it costs to keep him!!!! This regime gets annoyed people even asking, as if it is a private matter??!!
%$#@! said…
Oh i think there are plenty of regime thugs, spouses and kids with their snouts in the trough and don't much like the idea of elections risking all of this !!!! They really want any rules to apply to everyone else, not them.
Sugarcane Man said…
> Would you vote Beddoes as your PM?


> These people were leaders from 1990's to 2006 era - the darkest years of this proud nation!

Wow, why do you hate Beddoes so much when you know so little about him. Those years that you call the darkest... yeah, Beddoes was not in government but in opposition, meaning he was fighting against corrupt governments trying to make Fiji a better place. So the Fiji that you considered a shithole... people like Beddoes was actually doing something to try and fix it up.

You are cheering for a man who fixed up a few things, but in doing so made the greater Fiji much worse. From midnight tonight (about 40mins time), the military will have the power to take over government at any time, and it will be constitutional for them to do so. That's the new reality for us in Fiji... that all our freedoms are granted to us by a man with a gun, and can be taken away at any time by that man.
Anonymous said…
This is what happens when the rule of law is totally corrupted.
God Save the King! said…
There are key phrases in two speeches yesterday which we ought to be concentrating upon rather than hurling insults and defamatory remarks. For it is the future that we must heed now.

1) Addressing us all as 'Fijians' is a beginning. Some of us have always known that we are. We did not rely upon others to term us so.

2) His Excellency the President stated: "I also want you to envisage the kind of country we can become if SOME of the provisions of this constitution are embraced by everyone. I am particularly encouraged - excited even - by the way in which it empowers young people".

3)..."So, we will be a SMARTER nation with more people capable of getting satisfying and sustainable jobs".

The Prime Minister in turn had this to say:

1) "As a nation, we had lost our way. And I remain convinced that only the most radical intervention was capable of ever turning us around. With the REVOLUTION and the new Fijian constitution, our national compass has been reset..."

Note the words in bold for they are highly significant. We have been through a revolution and all that this entails: pauperisation of individuals and small/medium businesses; targetting of specific individuals which continues; a huge increase in the hold and power of Organised Crime and Traffickers who prey on Fijians and upon entrepeneurs, investors and residents (many of whom had chosen to come to Fiji to retire and have suffered grievous harm and repeated threats and attacks).

Yes, it is true that in the past the politicians and political parties overlooked all of this in its nascent form in the late 1990s and after the terrifying destabilisation of 2000/2001. They were indeed, some of them, part of it. There were significant others part of it. The on-going trauma, impoverishment and loss suffered by so many Fijians must never be ignored. It must be REPAIRED. The International Community and the United Nations must ensure and give guarantees that Fijians will see reparations for all that they have undergone in the past twenty-six years. Granted, much has been through our own failed moral compass, our own intransigence of attitude and our conspicuous inattention to our children's education and continuous dedication towards 'Learning for Life'. But we have also been very poorly served by our own governments and by selfish and greedy leaders at every level of Fijian Life. The world does not owe us a living. We must find one for ourselves. In so doing, we do not expect to be preyed upon by the powerful and those who Sit-In-Wait for the vulnerable. Some of us have been murdered and raped in our own homes. Some of us have been traumatised repeatedly through grievous threats to our lives and our livelihoods. We shall never give in to this nor to hypocritical remonstrations that "All is well in the best of all possible worlds": that is both a deception and a lie and is grievously repugnant to all who have suffered severe loss of peace of mind, family unity and their health (both mental and physical) in the past seven years and prior to that. Fiji requires holistic repair. The Organised Criminals must be sent whence they came and their on-the-ground helpers, aiders and abetters brought to summary account. Those who are truly our friends for the long haul must come quickly to assist since time is running out for some of us. If His Majesty, King Abdullah of Jordan sees fit to assist from his own Privy Purse then "God Save The King"! A friend in our need is a friend indeed and he has most urgent and pressing claims upon his own Kingdom from Syrian refugees fleeing their civil war. God Save Fiji and All Fijians - May we learn to live in peace together!

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