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Freedom Alliance, Fiji Labour Party Join Forces

Freedom Alliance, Fiji Labour Party Join Forces
From left: Freedom Alliance Party Leader Jagath Karunaratne, Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry and FLP Parliamentary leader Aman Ravindra-Singh on October 9, 2018. Photo: Rosi Doviverata
October 10
13:06 2018

Freedom Alliance Party lead­er Jagath Karunaratne has signed a partnership agree­ment with Fiji Labour Party Par­liamentary leader, Aman Ravin­dra-Singh.

This seals the deal for Freedom Alliance provisional candidates to join forces with FLP and contest the November 14 General Election under the FLP banner.

Mr Karunaratne appealed to FAP supporters and the general public to rally behind FLP, adding that the co-operation signified unity to all Fijians.

FLP bagged 11,670 (2.35 per cent) votes in the 2014 General Election while the then Fiji United Freedom Party won 1072 (0.22 per cent) votes.

“We are incorporating agreed manifesto ideas into one manifesto and then we will be distributing it to people. This is the way to go,” he said.

“Every party is going to elections to get the numbers (5 per cent threshold), but we must also look at the bigger picture and the kind of message we as political leaders send to people.

“We can see everywhere that po­litical leadership is engaged in mudslinging attacks on each other, personal statements and that is not what we should be doing.”

Addressing members of the me­dia at a press conference yesterday, Mr Ravindra-Singh said: “coalition agreements are not new to Labour.”

He said they received feedback from people from all sectors of so­ciety wanting a change in govern­ment.

“In today’s restrictive electoral environment, we believe the best way to achieve this is for all opposi­tion parties to form a united front to oust the unpopular ruling party,” Mr Ravindra-Singh said.

“Unfortunately, despite all our ef­forts in the past five to six years we have been unable to get other opposition parties to look beyond parochial party interests and to serve the long-term interests of the nation.”

He added that common and shared values of both parties were based on human rights, rule of law, de­mocracy, social justice, transpar­ency and accountability.

“Two parties coming together also means that there is a stronger force,” he said.

“We call on the people to give us their support so that we can achieve our vision for our nation.”

FLP leader Mahendra Chaudhry said FLP was advocating the stance since 2013.

“We always say if opposition wants to make an impact than they must unite and we have said this again this time and unfortunately we have not been able to convince the other political parties and oppo­sition so we have decided to set an example between the two of us and get on with it.”

Mr Chaudhry said both parties were working together for the past three years and did not think there would be any compromises or con­flicts because they moved forward.

“We will do our best and the bal­lot depends on the voters. We have very convincing policies.”

Mr Chaudhry challenged other party leaders to engage in an open debate with each other in a public domain in the lead-up to the Gen­eral Election.

Edited by Epineri Vula



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