The Fijian Elections Office (FEO) is expected to provide an official response next week on the de-registration of the FijiFirst party.

The party had until 4pm last Friday to amend its constitution as directed by the FEO.

The Registrar of Political Parties, Ana Mataiciwa, had earlier informed the party that failure to abide by the instruction would result in its de-registration.

However, there was no word from the FEO on whether FijiFirst has been struck off the register of political parties or not.

Upon enquiry, the Fiji Times was informed that the registrar was out of the office and FEO may respond to queries on the next business day (Monday).

Opposition Leader Inia Seruiratu declined to comment on the possible deregistration, saying he was focusing on the national budget as a two-week debate was scheduled for July.

Opposition Leader, Inia Seruiratu said deregistration is least of their worries.

“It is the least of my worries. I am focusing on national issue which is the budget. But I know there is a process under section 19 (2) of the Political Parties Act when it comes to deregistration so that process allows 60 days for us to look at options.”

Section 19 (2) of the Political Parties Registration Act states that the registrar shall before deregistering a party inform the political party in writing of the particulars of the breach or contravention, inform the political party in writing of the particulars of the intention to deregister the political party and direct the political party to remedy the breach or the contravention within 60 days or otherwise show cause why the party should not be deregistered.

Seruiratu said he they will make a decision based on whatever is good for national interest.

“We are not here for our own political games we are here to serve every Fijian and that will be our priority.”

The party does not have any office bearers as several members including two key figures former FijiFirst Leader Voreqe Bainimarama and founding member Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum resigned earlier this month.
Party President Ratu Joji Satakala, Vice President Adi Selai Adimaitoga, second Vice President Ravindran Kumaran and Shailesh Kumar also resigned.

Current members of parliament Faiyaz Koya and Hem Chand had also tendered their resignations as office bearers.

It is understood that those making any attempt to take the party forward would have also had to inherit debt as their audited financial accounts as at 31st December 2023 shows that FijiFirst had a net liability of $701,180 (US$350,590).