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Registered political parties in Fiji this week revealed their campaign spending in the run-up to the 2018 general election.
“We had anticipated a budget of $2 million (US$1 million), but we have had to operate well below this budget because of our restricted income sources and methods placed upon political parties by the regulations,” Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) leader Sitiveni Rabuka told the Fiji Times.
“It’s not simple to put a figure on a budget for elections. The party has been involved in many fundraising activities throughout the country,” said Fiji Labour Party Parliamentary leader Aman Ravindra-Singh
“We have allocated a total budget of $1 million (US$500,000) from the beginning of this year for our campaigns and to cater for all the affairs of our party,” Unity Fiji party leader Savenaca Narube
“The public will get to see our finances when we disclose it to the (Elections) supervisor,” said HOPE party leader Tupou Draunidalo.
“It will be hard to state the cost of campaign because it is a very costly exercise. The party had spent around half a million dollars in 2014 during the election campaign and this amount is expected to increase this year,” saidNational Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad.
“Right now we are having consolidation discussions with other political parties and for that reason I cannot disclose the figures,” said Freedom Alliance Party leader Jagath Karunaratne
Meanwhile, the Fiji Labour Party (FLP) parliamentary leader Aman Ravindra-Singh believes the time given to political parties for campaigning for the general election is too short.
“The time for campaigning is too short. Once the nomination process is over and the numbers allocated to candidates, a candidate only has about 23 days to campaign compared to the government that has been campaigning on a daily basis for the past four years,” Ravindra-Singh claimed.
He claimed FLP had the best policies which had been tried and tested with the second Labour government being the first government in Fiji that reduced VAT on 15 basic food items which resulted in the reduction of prices for basic food items.
SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS
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