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Opinion: Will NFP’s Acceptance of Tikoduadua Hurt Party?

Opinion: Will NFP’s Acceptance of Tikoduadua Hurt Party?
Pio Tikoduadua.
August 21
16:56 2017

The National Federation Party’s (NFP) decision to accept Pio Tikoduadua could backfire.

Already rumblings are being heard that traditional and diehard party loyalists are asking about the wisdom in accepting a former military officer as president of the party.

The exit of an anti-military president in Roko Tupou Draunidalo and the coming in of an ex- military officer to replace her has been confusing to the traditionalists.

Ms Draunidalo’s hostility towards the military is well-known. It became the official position of the NFP since the 2014 general election.

Since Mr Tikoduadua joined the NFP the original supporters have taken time to accept a former military man.

The contradiction of the two positions is causing discomfort and doubt among supporters who are addressing the issue as a matter of principle.

Some say this could cost the party votes in the general election.

The Fiji Sun opinion poll last month showed that NFP was tracking slightly behind the Fiji Labour Party.

This is interesting because it indicated that Mr Tikoduadua has not made any difference in the party’s popularity stakes.

Maybe there might be a change in this month’s poll. Indications are that things will relatively stay the same for this month.

If Ms Draunidalo’s following left with her, that would cause a dent in the NFP support. That needs to be replaced by the iTaukei support of Mr Tikoduadua. If it’s not enough then it would explain why NFP is polling poorly. After all the hype of Mr Tikoduadua’s signing there is very little to show for it.

The NFP attempts to focus on the relationship between Mr Tikoduadua and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama in the FijiFirst Government was to try to mask the anti-military controversy.

From it’s strong anti-military stand, the party is expected to tone down it’s rhetorics so not to offend Mr Tikoduadua.


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