Saturday, October 25, 2014

PM in Vanua Levu

from w
Strange words have come from Fiji's Prime Minister, announcing that for those who didn't vote for him, well, it seems they don't want (his kind of) development.  Rather odd words when a Prime Minister is there for everyone and who voted for who, is past and gone.  Vanua Levu people DO want development  and development projects of course, but there are other concerns as well that go alongside projects.
from today's Fiji Times.

PM's worry

Salaseini Moceiwai
Sunday, October 26, 2014
PRIME Minister Rear Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama says he's a bit worried about continuing with development projects in the Northern Division because a lot of voters there didn't vote for the FijiFirst party in the recent general election.
While addressing government officials and some villagers at Naulumatua House in Nabouwalu, Bua yesterday, Mr Bainimarama said a lot of people didn't want developments to take place in their respective settings, prompting them to vote for SODELPA (Social Democratic Liberal Party).
Accompanied by wife, Mary and Labour Minister Jioje Konrote and some government officials, this was Mr Bainimarama's first official tour of the North after the election.
"Dua na i wiliwili levu ni koro e Vanua Levu e ra sega ni vinakata na veivakatorocaketaki baleta ni ra sega ni digitaka na FijiFirst. E ra a digitaka ga na SODELPA (A high number of villages on Vanua Levu don't want developments because they didn't choose FijiFirst. They only chose SODELPA)."
Mr Bainimarama said such voters only wanted the restoration of the GCC and discussions about the church but they didn't want free bus fare, among other developments and incentives his government had provided for the people of Fiji.
"That's the bit that I am worried about right now, whether we should continue with developments or not in Vanua Levu."
However, Mr Bainimarama said this would be an inclusive government.
"This will be an inclusive government as I have said earlier but at the same time, we'll have to be worried about those people who don't want developments. Let's not shove developments down their throats."
He added development projects tabled out by the Commissioner Northern were basically the government's but unfortunately, a lot of people in the North didn't want them.
Mr Bainimarama said they would have to relook at the list of developments and prioritise those who needed them in the North.
Meanwhile, Mr Bainimarama and his entourage will attend the FijiFirst party's thanksgiving church service at Labasa's Subrail Park today.

And also from Fiji Times - later in the day.  Note; 'More than 200 people turned up at Subrail Park'.  Hmmmm.  Not 2000?

Party supporters attend thanksgiving service

Sunday, October 26, 2014
Update: 4:26PM MORE than 200 FijiFirst supporters today turned up at Subrail Park in Labasa to attend the party's thanksgiving church service.
Speaking at the church service party leader and Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama said they also had a similar thanksgiving services in Suva and the West to thank supporters.
"I also want to thank supporters, who turned up in such great numbers across the nation to vote for FijiFirst," he said.
"I know that not everyone voted for me but the fact that we secured 32 out of the 50 seats demonstrates the enthusiasm, faith and trust the Fijian people have for both the track record of my Government and FijiFirst's manifesto."
and also:

Opposition hits back - Aiyaz Kahiyum must take appropriate action against Bainimarama for breaching their own 2013 Constitution:

"SODELPA Shadow Minister for iTaukei Affairs, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, said in a statement today that less than three weeks after the first sitting of the new Parliament the Prime Minister, who promised to take care of all, has for the second time threatened the cancellation of government development for those citizens who did not vote for him.’

Reacting to the front page stories of The Fiji Times and Fiji Sun [Oct 26th] Ratu Naiqama said the comments attributed to Prime Minister Bainimarama are in breach of the constitution. They violate Sec 1 (a), (d), (e) and (f) covering Common and equal citizenry, and Sec 26 of the Bill of Rights (1), (2) and (3) covering Right to equality and freedom from discrimination.

"This latest and outrageous threat by the Prime Minister gives people a real sense of the type of government now in office," Ratu Naiqama said. "It is consistent with what he did in early 2013 with the Tui Vitogo and his people. It is similar to the threat he made to Hon Niko Nawaikula’s supporters.  Are we to assume the provisions for equality in the 2013 constitution have been abandoned?

By his utterances in the North, the Prime Minister is effectively putting Fiji First voter’s interests ahead of all other citizens creating two classes of citizens. What I want to know, Ratu Naiqama said, was how does he know who did not vote for him? What does he have from the Elections office that will allow him to identify who did or did not vote for him? No names or numbers were on the ballot papers?

"Development funds come from all taxpayers of Fiji as well as foreign donors. These are not the personal funds of PM Bainimarama to do with as he pleases. He should understand this by now. Taxpayers include many who did not vote for Frank Bainimarama and his Fiji First Party. They have equal rights for their tax dollars to be used for their wellbeing."

Ratu Naiqama called on all foreign aid donors to take heed of the stated position of the Prime Minister and be sure to secure guarantees that the funds they give to Fiji for the benefit of all the people, are not used primarily to benefit only Fiji First supporters.

Ratu Naiqama said foreign countries would do well to tread cautiously when re-establishing relations with the Government.  It appears to be following the same path of bad and vindictive governance that marked the last eight years.

Ratu Naiqama has called on the Attorney General and Minister for Justice to take appropriate action against the Prime Minister for his breach of the constitution. The Opposition will be following up in Parliament on this extraordinary threat from the Prime Minister."

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