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Labour’s Chaudhry wants ‘courageous’ candidates

Labour’s Chaudhry wants ‘courageous’ candidates
Fiji Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhary with party president, Lavinia Padarath and Nadi Branch party president, Ram Rajend during the opening of the party's Nadi branch office in West Field Estate , Legalega in Nadi on 10 February 2018. Photo: Arieta Vakasukawaqa
February 12
11:00 2018

Fiji Labour Party leader Mahen­dra Chaudhry has hinted on the calibre of candidates the party will field in the coming general elec­tions.

Speaking at the opening of the par­ty’s newest branch office in West Field Estate in Legalega, Nadi, on Saturday night, Mr Chaudhry said he wanted candidates who are courageous.

“This is the best qualification. They must have guts to stand up and speak out against injustice,’’ he said.

“That’s what we like in our candi­dates … to be brave people and, pre­pared to make a sacrifice for this coun­try.

“We are aiming at a good mix of can­didates – youths and experienced peo­ple.

“People with a good record of com­munity work service and, have pas­sion for our country.”

The party, he said, had a record of putting ordinary people into Parlia­ment compared to a time when politics was a domain of lawyers, accountants and other professionals.

Mr Chaudhry claimed that his par­ty, which failed to win a seat in 2014, brought in farmers and trade union­ists into previous parliaments.

“We are also looking at gender bal­ance. We hope to pick from all the sectors, we have just begun our cam­paign. The response has been tremen­dous over the past few weeks.

The response from people wanting to join their party was positive, Mr Chaudhry said.

The party will release the first batch of its candidates to contest this year’s general election by the end of this month.

The final batch of candidates, how­ever, would be released by the end of next month.

Mr Chaudhry said the party was aim­ing for 56 candidates to battle for the 51 seats available in the nation’s Par­liament.

Bulk of the applications received so far are from the Western Division.

Applications for Labour tickets close on February 16, after which Mr Chaudhry will release final figures and disclose the first batch of the par­ty’s line-up. He said the party’s 2014 manifesto was being updated and the end result would be released at an ap­propriate time.

This year marks the party’s 33rd an­niversary since its establishment.

Edited by George Kulamaiwasa

Feedback; arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

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