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Positive NFP Move But Action Needed

Positive NFP Move But Action Needed
National Federation Party provisional candidate Lenora Qereqeretabua with supporters during the NFP's annual general meeting at the AD Patel College ground in Ba on July 28, 2018. Photo: Waisea Nasokia
July 30
15:14 2018

The annual general meeting of the National Federation Party on Saturday showed some positive features.

It focused on issues that affect people’s  lives everyday.

The NFP even came up with new policies that it would implement if it forms the Government instead of engaging in divisive politics such as the politics of race and religion.

Prior to the AGM it had been busy criticising the Government for the sake of opposing everything from Government.

Now it is offering some concrete proposals such as the removal of the interest on student loans under TELS and the scholarship for the first-year degree students in all three universities.

The NFP is also proposing a 50 per cent increase in the pensions of ex-servicemen.

If it wants people to take the party seriously then it has to continue focusing on issues that matter to the people.

People are now well aware that the old politics of religion and race is employed by desperate politicians who are clutching at straws and appealing to the lowest common denominator in our society.

The NFP cannot bury its head in the sand and shy away from addressing this issue and instructing its provisional candidates from stopping this gutter level politics.

Some of its provisional candidates have been accused of using race and religion in the campaign.

So much time and energy are spent in focusing on this unfortunate development in this election campaign.

We should be using resources to build this country not using them on issues that have no positive impact on nation building.

When voters select candidates to represent them in Parliament they should not do it on the basis of race or religion.

They should base it on merit.

Parties should also instruct provisional candidates not to spread lies and information that is misleading.

If they play it by the rules they can expect to gain votes.

Parties have a moral responsibility to ensure that this election is clean, that it is fought on the basis of truth and a genuine desire to make Fiji a better place to live in and to stand for principles that advocate that:

Diversity is our strength, not a weakness or problem – that we can live in peace despite our ethnic, cultural and religious differences we are tolerant to one another because we understand each other and we embrace each other;

We are all equal before the law and we are all called Fijians;

No one is discriminated on the basis of race, religion, culture, gender or sexual orientation and socioeconomic status; and

That the weak and the vulnerable of our society, the poor, needy, sick, elderly, disabled, widows and the afflicted are taken care of.

The NFP on Saturday showed signs that it wants to move in this direction.

It’s a big challenge to maintain this course and not fall back on the bad old habits.

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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