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Healthy Bank Balance Gives FijiFirst Head Start In POLLS

Healthy Bank Balance Gives FijiFirst Head Start In POLLS
From Top Left:Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, Centre: People’s Democratic Party Leader Lynda Tabuya., Top Right: SODELPA Leader Sitiveni Rabuka. From bottom Left: NFP Leader Biman Prasad and Fiji Labour Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhary.
May 19
11:00 2017

ANALYSIS: It is often said that the bank balance of a political party reflects its strength.

This is because it dictates the activities of the party when its 2018 general election campaign intensifies.

The logistics of an election campaign cover the bulk of the expenditure and they range from salaries/allowances, travel, transport, food, kava administration, medical, insurance, media advertising etc.

Based on these considerations, FijiFirst is in a commanding position, according to the financial status of the political parties released by the Fijian Elections Office and published by the Fiji Sun on Wednesday.

This is a snapshot of the parties’ financial position as at December 31, 2016:

Cash balance at bank
FijiFirst $1,954,003
SODELPA $70,954
National Federation Party: $3206
People’s Democratic Party: $3826
Fiji Labour Party: $3846
Fiji United Freedom Party: Nil

 

Transactions

FijiFirst: Income (Donations $515,000) $680,166; Expenditure $107,699

SODELPA: Income: $316,609 (including parliamentary grant $225,000, donations $8061); Expenditure $243,187

National Federation Party: Income $99,727 (including donations $53,786, parliamentary grant $45,000); Expenditure $101,176.

Fiji Labour Party: Income (including donations $1148)  $5051; Expenditure $5368.

People’s Democratic Party: Income (Including donation $620. Audit did not cover all additional financial data.

Fiji United Freedom Party: Income $400; Expenditure $650.

 

FijiFirst

If the elections were held next month, FijiFirst would win hands down given their healthy bank balance and good management.

The party has the capacity to mobilise its campaign force at the drop of the hat because it has the funds to do it. At the moment it is focused on delivering on its promises to the people from 2014 with stability, security and services.

Its two big international items are the United Nations World Ocean Conference in New York next month and the COP23 summit in Bonn, Germany, in November. Both bring major benefits to Fiji.

 

SODELPA

The party has funds to kick-start its campaign but not enough to sustain it. It has learned from the 2014 general election and is not leaving things to the last few weeks.

We can expect an announcement of its manifesto next month and possibly the naming of the first lot of confirmed candidates.

This would give the party sufficient time to cover as many areas as possible before the election.

It has used a new modus operandi where small groups have spread out throughout the country touching base with the grassroot, using the evening talanoa session technique.

 

National Federation Party

It does not have adequate funds to mount a sustained meaningful campaign.

Recently, it has been campaigning in the cane belt where it is hoping to recapture its old support but it is having little luck.

Cane farmers interviewed have poured cold water on the party’s criticism of the $10 million subsidy to help them announced by Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, on Monday. Some of them are aligned to the NFP sponsored Fiji Cane Growers Association which is battling for support against the Mahendra Chaudhry-led Fiji Labour Party-backed National Farmers Union.

Farmers urgently wanted some form of relief and the Government has provided it.

 

Fiji Labour Party

It’s early days yet to assess whether the FLP has gained any inroads into its former enclaves. It has made noises in the cane fields but it faces the same challenges as the NFP is facing.

At the moment it’s a one-man show with Mr Chaudhry leading the charge.

He needs more than that to create a dent in the FijiFirst armour.

He needs more lieutenants in the fields to achieve his goal.

He cannot do it alone or through media releases.

 

People’s Democratic Party

There is an eerie silence on the frontline of the PDP. It’s hanging on to a thin thread which could snap at any time.

It’s financial statement speaks for itself. It does not have enough funds to run an effective election campaign. And it has lost some of its prominent pioneers like Adi Sivia Qoro.

It is not clear where Fiji Trades Union Congress general secretary Felix Anthony and president Daniel Urai stand in the mix.

Will they actively participate in the campaign or even stand as candidates after Mr Anthony’s humiliating failed attempt to win a seat in the 2014 election. The former PDP leader is not used to losing.

New leader, lawyer Lynda Tabuya’s future in the party in uncertain. Recently, she was allegedly linked to a tentative list of prospective candidates for SODELPA. She has denied formally applying for a SODELPA ticket.

 

Fiji United Freedom Party

It’s nil bank balance says it all.

It is just making up the numbers in the political landscape.

 

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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