News and Comments Friday 18 July
He told them his was a sporting body not a political party, adding that he thought the presence of League superstar Tuqiri "painted a picture that rugby league supported SODELPA."
ANOTHER NEW PARTY. The proposed Fiji United Freedom Party is confident they have met the 5000 signature criteria set by the Fijian Elections Office to enable them to register as a political party to contest the September elections. Their earlier attempt was rejected when it was found only 3822 signatures were valid.
DON'T CONFUSE GCC WITH CHIEFS. The PM said politicians should not mislead people by mixing up the Great Council of Chiefs with our chiefs. The GCC was abolished because it had become political. The chiefs remain with their chiefly status intact, looking after their people and the Vanua.
PM TELLS OPPONENTS TO ACT LIKE CHRISTIANS and stop preaching about differences and racial discrimination. Speaking to 70-plus people at Kalabu Secondary School Bainimarama reiterated a secular state does not stop Christians or any other religion from practicing their beliefs. It means that everyone is allowed to take part in whichever religion they prefer. He added that talk about religion and land by other political parties is identical to the tactics used in the past to create hatred and sway voters.
SODELPA leader Ro Teimumu Kepa told a rally in Samabula East said she allows her party colleagues to speak at campaign forums because they can compare the state of affairs in government now to what it was before the coup. Her colleagues including the former Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase and Tomasi Vakatora are the best people to speak during campaigns. Ro Teimumu also briefed those gathered on their visits to the various chiefly families before they launched their campaign. She said it was only right to seek the blessings of the chiefs.
PDP LEADERS TO NZ. Peoples Democratic Party leader and president Felix Anthony and Lynda Tabuya flew to NZ on Wednesday. They will be in Wellington on Friday and stay on for a fundraiser event on Saturday in Auckland.
LIFE IN FIJI (and FIJI). The magazine NZ Listener has a weekly feature "Life in New Zealand" that comprises quotes from local newspapers that are not quite what their writers intended. Three recent examples: an ad for "Burnable firewood," another for sale "Two houses, One wife...One must go!" and a longer one: "It is similar to Viagra that was originally trialled as a heart medication when a surprising side effect in men started to pop up with regularity."
A PDP notice was surely also unintended: "PDP has not yet decided on whether it will be open to form coalitions, but if they do, it will most likely to be with a party that agrees with their policies." Really!
Or this one from the proposed Activist People's Party made up of landowners. Leader Sairusa Waininima says its role will be as a mediator in in any crisis that arises in Fiji. That's sort of strange but the really strange bit was that the 5, 225 signatures collected to register were "equally divided between iTaukei and Fijians"!
ELECTION OFFICE WARNING. The public has been warned about fake election offices seeking their signatures, support, and other personal details.
INFRASTRUCTURE UPDATE. Islands Business reports that the $10 million upgrade on Nadi International Airport is underway.
Meanwhile, the proposed extension at Nausori airport, close to Suva, awaits landowner approval.