Sitiveni Rabuka’s People’s Alliance has been registered as Fiji’s latest political party.
Registrar of Political Parties, Mohammed Saneem said today that the one objection received has been dealt with and “the applicant has successfully furnished all the particulars required under the law and hence the party has been duly registered.”
The total number of registered parties in Fiji currently stands at eight.
Rabuka was Leader of the Opposition until he resigned from the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) in December last year.
Meanwhile, the leader of the newly registered People’s Alliance Party, Sitiveni Rabuka says he is ready to contest the next General Election.
Rabuka said he was aware of the financial challenges that come with administering a political party.
Rabuka has admitted to FBC News that the People’s Alliance does not have the money to mount a successful election campaign but adds there are plans to get funding in time to prepare for the campaign period.
Following the successful registration of his party earlier today, Rabuka says some former Social Democratic Liberal Party youth worked behind the scenes to the Peoples’ Alliance to this point.
He said he has proven his critics wrong, especially in light of the immense pressure he was under.
“Many people say negative things about the party and our chances of getting registered, but we have now come through and proved everyone wrong. We have confidence in his office.”
Rabuka says he is aware of SODELPA members who are not interested in running for the Opposition party in the 2022 General Election.
However, the Leader of the Peoples’ Alliance said for now, he has no intention of poaching any SODELPA members.
“They are free agents, they have their own voter blocs that have supported them to get them to contention for the seat in parliament and they have been asked whether they are interested in running again under the SODELPA banner and they had not shown that interest.”
A number of key SODELPA MPs are known to have allegiances to Rabuka and there is speculation that some of them are ready to jump ship for a Rabuka ticket in the next election.
Fiji’s next General Election is scheduled to take place between 26 May 2022 – 09 January 2023.
In another development, Unity Fiji Party leader Savenaca Narube wants to challenge the amendments being made to the Political Parties Act as he believes it’s being done to weaken the opposition.
Narube said the opposition parties must not accept these gagging tactics lying down, they must unite to challenge these amendments in court.
He said the amendment to the Political Parties Act which demands actions by parties not in government had nothing to do with financial management.
“There is no doubt in my mind that this was meant to hide the amendment from public scrutiny. We must unite to challenge these amendments in court,” he said.
“The amendment was tucked away with the amendment to the Public Financial Management Act which deals with how the Government of the day should manage the country’s finance.
“Therefore, the amendment to the Political Parties Act which demands actions by parties not in government had nothing to do with financial management.
“There is no doubt in my mind that this was meant to hide the amendment from public scrutiny. This tactic worked as the opposition missed the amendment altogether,” he said.
Narube said to demand political parties to calculate their impact on the budget deficit is totally impracticable.
“Some may argue that it is reasonable to demand political parties to assess the cost of the promises that they make,” he said.
“To enable them to do this, the political parties will have to know the total projected expenditure and revenue, which are impossible.
“The screws are being tightened slowly to gag and weaken the opposition in 2022. Bill 50 in March this year amended the Electoral Act to make it unlawful to criticise the elections.
“Bill 52 also in March this year amended the Political Parties Act to remove the rights of the Opposition to appeal the decisions of the Supervisor of Elections to the High Court.
“Instead, the law was amended so the appeal can only be made to the Electoral Commission of which the Supervisor of Elections is the secretary, and whose decision is final,” Narube said.
SOURCE: ISLANDS BUSINESS/FBC NEWS/FIJI LIVE/PACNEWS