Fiji People’s Democratic Party Declares Assets, Liabilities

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Fiji People’s Democratic Party Declares Assets, Liabilities President and 4 other interim officers submit finances

By Rosi Doviverata

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Sun, July 2, 2013) – The People’s Democratic Party of Fiji presented their declaration of assets and liabilities to the Registrar of Political Parties, Mohammed Saneem yesterday.

Party spokesperson Nirmal Singh said their submission was made well before the midday deadline.

He said five officials submitted their details. This included interim party president Adi Sivia Qoro, Jone Baravilala, Vijay Singh, Sat Narayan and Jacob Etika. The five are all interim office bearers.

Branch set-up

Mr. Singh said once all branches are established, the party will hold a National Convention. The convention is expected to take place in October.

"A nomination will come from each branch and then office bearers will be elected during the convention."

According to Mr. Singh, a Lautoka branch was established last Friday. He said at least 200 people turned up at the meeting.

"We are slowly building up our structures so PDP will truly be a people’s party."

Youth advocate

Jone Baravilala is a youth advocate and was a youth rep for the Ba Provincial Council

He is also a member of the Fiji Youth Council

Krishna Datt

People’s Democratic Party member Krishna Datt did not make any submissions.

"He is not an office bearer. He is helping us out in crafting party policies and manifesto," Mr. Singh said.

In an earlier interview, Mr. Datt said that he needed clarification on his status, and whether his current role as a consultant rules him ineligible.

He said: "The decree that came out virtually stopped anyone who’s receiving any form of allowances from a council or union. I am not sure whether it affects me.

"I collect some allowances from the Council of Pacific Education."

Other parties

Fiji Labour Party members who have declared their assets and liabilities include Mahendra Chaudhry, Lavenia Padarath, Kini Maraiwai, David Eyre, Sachida Nand Sharma, Monica Raghwan, Surendra Lal and Udit Narayan.

SODELPA members who have presented their financial details include party interim president Ro Teimumu Kepa, Ratu Isikeli Komaisavai, Pio Tabaiwalu, Isoa Kamarusi, Timoci Bulitavu, Nanise Kinivuwai, Vilimone Soqeta, Lote Yavuca, Ratu Silivenusi Tabakaucoro and Ruci Karuru.

For the National Federation Party, officials who have made declarations are party president Raman Pratap Singh, Virendra Singh, Jag Nadan, Dhani Ram, Mohammed Rafiq, Vishwa Nadan and Dalip Kumar.

Declaration of Assets and Liabilities

Under the Political Parties Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosure Decree 2013, all parties have one month from registration to disclose their assets and liabilities and those of office bearers.

Attorney-General and Minister responsible for elections Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has previously stated that the public will now have access to financial information pertaining to politicians and political parties.

He has said this decree requires a full disclosure of the assets, income, liabilities, donations and other financial information of both the political parties and the politicians.

He said the decree set out the type of funding that is acceptable, such as donations of no more than FJ$10,000 [US$5,248] from individuals, membership fees, voluntary contributions, or grants from a lawful source.

It prohibits funding from companies, foreign governments, inter-governmental and/or non-governmental organizations to curtail undue influence on the political parties.

"There have been a number of incidents where companies have had a sway over political parties especially when they come into power and these parties feel beholden to them as well," Mr. Sayed-Khaiyum has said.

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