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PM Leads

PM Leads
Tekeli pathi - local breakfast meal with Assamese tea. Photo: Waisea Nasokia
September 18
11:41 2014

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama was early today happy with the general election results coming in. But he was waiting for the final results before commenting further.

It came as he led his Fiji First Party ahead despite a big challenge from Ro Teimumu Kepa’s Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA).

Mr Bainimarama had earlier accused SODELPA supporters of spreading lies and misinformation amongst the iTaukei population on emotive issues. These included land, religion and the chiefs.

SODELPA was neck and neck with FijiFirst in the early counting. But as the night wore on and more results came in both Mr Bainimarama and FijiFirst moved ahead.

Mr Bainimarama was by far the most popular candidate with voters in the single constituency election.

The contest – as predicted – was clear. This was between FijiFirst’s non discriminatory inclusive new Fiji and SODELPA’s back-to-the-past discrimination and policies from the ousted Qarase Government era.

FijiFirst backed its campaign with the service delivery by the Bainimarama Government and a manifesto pledging more service and economic growth.

Other parties struggled to stay in the contest. The National Federation Party, Fiji Labour Party and People’s Democratic Party gained meagre early support in counting.

FijiFirst general-secretary Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, who stopped by the media centre after midnight, said: “Early days still but in fact we’re very happy that our leader is winning by the majority … and of course, we’d like to see this lead continue and indeed get even bigger.”

1460 polling stations were operational yesterday in what was the country’s first truly democratic election.

Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem said:” I’m very happy and pleased to report that our teams did very well. So I think there was a lot of care and attention to the job that they did.”

Early today Mr Saneem was unable to say when counting would finish. The emphasis, he said, was on doing it carefully and getting it right.

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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