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Tikotikoca Pulls Out As NFP Poll Candidate, Denies Rape Allegation

Tikotikoca Pulls Out As NFP Poll  Candidate,  Denies Rape Allegation
Romanu Tikotikoca drives out of the National Federation Party Tamavua office, following his withdrawal as NFP provisional candidate on February 14, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar
February 15
12:10 2018

Romanu Tikotikoca has withdrawn as a provisional candidate for the National Federation Party.

He made the announcement in the wake of an allegation that he raped his housegirl when he was the Fijian High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea.

He broke his silence yesterday and threatened to sue the Fiji Sun and the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, both of which reported the rape allegation story.

He said in a statement which he read out in a video recording: “From Sunday February 11, 2018 to date, two media outlets namely the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation and the Fiji Sun have been prominently reporting allegations that during my tenure as Fiji’s High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, I purportedly raped a maid working at the High Commissioner’s residence.

“I absolutely and categorically deny the allegation, which is a complete fabrication and lie.  It is a despicable attempt to defame my character and bring ridicule and contempt to my family and I.

“Therefore, I will pursue legal action against both the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation and the Fiji Sun.

“I have today also deemed it proper to withdraw my provisional candidacy of the National Federation Party as I proceed to clear my name. This is a matter of integrity purely for me and my family and not of NFP.”

The NFP leader Biman Prasad confirmed that the party had received a formal notification from Mr Tikotikoca about his withdrawal.

“We have accepted Mr Tikotikoca’s reasons for the withdrawal and believe it was the right thing to do following allegations levelled against him,” Mr Prasad said.

“We wish Mr Tikotikoca well.”

The statements were released after an NFP meeting of officials in Suva.

Party president Pio Tikoduadua later attended a mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Pratt St, in Suva. He declined to comment.

The mass was for Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Lent is a period of 40 days of fasting and the giving up of some types of food and activities that Catholics enjoy.

Mr Tikotikoca, a devout Catholic, was not there. He declined to comment beyond his statement.

Several attempts to get him to comment before the rape allegation was published had also failed.

The head of the Catholic Church in Fiji, Archbishop Peter Loy Chong, said: “I am not aware of this rape allegation.

“Mr Romanu was the Our Lady of Fatima Nadera Parish administrator. His term of office ended in January 2018. The truth of the allegation would affect his position in the church – I will need an official statement regarding the rape allegation.

Edited by Nemani Delaibatiki

Feedback:  lusiana.tuimaisala@fijisun.com.fj

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