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Prof Healey Clarifies FNU Policy On Running For General Elections

Prof Healey Clarifies FNU Policy On Running For General Elections
Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete
October 10
13:03 2018

Employees of Fiji National Uni­versity can contest the General Elec­tion provided they either take annual leave or leave without pay.

This was confirmed by the Vice Chancellor of Fiji National University Professor Nigel Healey.

“The FNU Policy is that if staff either choose to run for office as a candi­date or if they are an ac­tivist in a party and they are actively campaigning, our policy requires that they take leave from the univer­sity,” he said.

“They remain employed by the uni­versity, but they are not paid so they either take annual leave or they take unpaid leave.”

He made this comment after posts on social media speculated claims that Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete was a provisional candidate for FijiFirst, but was representing FNU at the launch of 2018 Pinktober Campaign last week.

According to Professor Healey, one such case was Mahendra Reddy was then the Dean of Faculty of Com­merce, Hospitality and Tourism Studies at Fiji Institute of Technolo­gy, he took leave without pay to cam­paign and he subsequently became a member of FijiFirst cabinet and Minister for Education.

“Once a candidate is confirmed as a provisional candidate, we require that staff take unpaid or annual leave,” he said.

“So they technically re­main employed, but they are not part of the day-to-day activity.

“We need to keep a very clear separation because once they are actively campaigning for the party or on their own account they can’t be within the university working, but they are still employed by the university and are not just actively working for the uni­versity.”

In addition, Professor Healey said FNU as a university had to remain critically neutral.

“We have to remain apolitical for our staff and students for that mat­ter if they are actively campaigning, they can as academics, influence the students,” he said.

Another candidate is Ivamere Rokoduna, an Assistant Lecturer Humanities and Education, who is a provisional candidate for FijiFirst.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: sheenam.chandra@fijisun.com.fj

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