CAPTION: A reader goes through today’s Fiji Sun. Photo: MUNAUWAR KHAN.
NO WARNING TO PROPOSED YOUTH PARTY – ATTORNEY GENERAL
The front page story of today’s Fiji Sun – “Register first, AG Warns Youth Activists; only three can” – is inaccurate, and worse, contains outright fabrications.
In an interview last Wednesday with the Fiji Sun, I reiterated the point that those looking to form political parties could say they were intending to form a party when going out to get signatures, but that only registered political parties can hold themselves out to be political parties.
I was told that a group of people were campaigning as a political party, and was then asked whether this was allowed. To this, I responded that I did not know the specific details, but that groups can’t hold themselves out to be political parties if they have not registered.
At no point was a proposed political party named, and at no point did I “warn youth activists.”
In fact, the Bainimarama Government is very encouraged by the fact that young people are engaging with the political process.
Fiji’s youth have a very important role to play in the 2014 parliamentary elections. With the voting age now at 18, young Fijians have the opportunity – for the first time – to actively participate; to stand up and make their voices heard. To say, “This is the Fiji we want.”
We need new political parties with new ideas; parties with inclusive platforms; parties that consider all Fijians equal; parties that protect land-ownership – including iTaukei ownership – in practice as well as in theory; parties that have clear policies on socio-economic issues such as economic growth, job creation, access to education, electricity, water, housing, and sanitation.
Parties such as these will be a welcome addition to a landscape that is currently dominated by the same old faces, which represent Fiji’s past, not its future.