Bainimarama’s FijiFirst Officially Recognized As Political Party

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Bainimarama’s FijiFirst Officially Recognized As Political Party Major parties not surprised at endorsement despite breaches of decrees

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, May 30, 2104) – Registrar of Political Parties has today endorsed FijiFirst's application as a political party. In a statement, Registrar of Political Parties Mohammed Saneem says the party can now operate and hold itself as a political party under section 16 of the decree.

FijiFirst leader Voreqe Bainimarama welcomed the news, thanking all who had signed up.

"I also wish to thank all those Fijians who have come out to openly support FijiFirst and who have sent their best wishes," he said in a statement.

"As our FijiFirst Constitution states, we are a national movement dedicated to the service of our nation and to the advancement of the well-being of all our people.

"We are committed to serve the best interests of all Fijians and to put Fiji first. FijiFirst will bring all Fijians together in a united Fiji. A united Fiji which has justice and compassion. A united Fiji that recognises the different and special needs and protection that is to be afforded to our citizens."

[PIR editor’s note: Fijilive reported that Fiji’s other major political parties were not ‘surprised by the endorsement of the FijiFirst party, welcoming the competition and remaining confident ahead of the September 17 election. Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry said "with their own people making the decision" that was to be expected. "This is despite the party having breached the Electoral Decree and the Political Parties Registration Decree. "Reports have been lodged but no action has been taken. It appears the rule of law doesn't apply to the government in power."’]

Bainimarama who is currently overseas says he will officially launch FijiFirst upon his return. In the meantime, he says people on the ground will start freely spreading the word about FijiFirst.

"We will also call for expressions of interest from those Fijians who wish to stand as candidates for FijiFirst and those who want to participate as volunteers in our political movement," Bainimarama said.

Meanwhile, there were five objections received by the Fijian Elections Office against the party's application - one each from Tupeni Baba, from Mick Beddoes, from Nazia Rauf, Dalip Kumar and one from the United Front for a Democratic Fiji (UFDF).

The particulars of the objections were in accordance to Section 9 of the Political Parties Registration Decree.

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