The future of the RFMF

AQELA SUSU SUVA Political parties seeking to defeat Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Retired) Voreqe Bainimarama and his FijiFirst party in next month’s elections all have views on the Republic of
10 Aug 2014 10:25

Political parties have different positions on the Republic of Fiji Military Forces.


Political parties seeking to defeat Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Retired) Voreqe Bainimarama and his FijiFirst party in next month’s elections all have views on the Republic of Fiji Military Forces he was the longtime commander of. But their views differ widely.

During the launch of the party’s manifesto SODELPA leader Ro Teimumu Kepa said there was a need for reconciliation between the RFMF and the people of Fiji. This, she said, would enable the people and the military to determine what went wrong back in 2006.
The party also claimed that there was an erosion of standards of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces as a result of their takeover in 2006 but they would:
nCommission a comprehensive review of the Fiji Military Forces.
n Implement the agreed recommendations of the review report.

Fiji Labour Party
The Fiji Labour Party recognises the proud record of the RFMF inpeacekeeping duties. However, the party claimed that the military’s strategy was now to legitimise its unlawful rule through an electoral process that it also claimed was seriously flawed.
They said the RFMF’s expenditure was substantially more than that of the Agriculture ministry and that of the Police Force and this proportion of the national budget needed to be rationalised.
n Labour says that they will ensure opportunities for younger, well qualified and proficient officers to take up command positions with the RFMF.
n Labour wishes to see the RFMF transform itself into a well drilled, disciplined, professional institution, dedicated to respecting and upholding the rule of law, and preserving and protecting a democratically promulgated Constitution.

People’s Democratic Party
The PDP will:
n Enhance the Republic of Fiji Military Forces’ capacity through professional training to provide effective international peacekeeping support through the United Nations.
n Restore bilateral partnerships as this will ensure that our military have access to the finest opportunities for training across the world.

National Federation Party
The National Federation Party will:
n Provide support for appropriate training to Police and Military to enhance professionalism and commitment to democratic governance and rule of law.
n Continue Fiji’s UN peacekeeping and other bilateral and multilateral alliances and training.

Fiji United Freedom Party
The Fiji United Freedom Party leader Nayagodamu Nakorovou said they had always supported the military and they found it as a place for youths to be employed.
“The military does not have enough female officers so we are looking at also creating three female platoons in three of the divisions in the country and also get youths who drop out of Year 12 and Year 13 to get into the military to undergo disciplinary training,” Mr Korovou said.
“We will not only want the military to be involved in the physical security of the nation but in medical and food security as well.”
He said the party would also double the retirement benefits that ex-servicemen were receiving and have the Commander of the RFMF become the Deputy President of the State. This, he said would let the military be involved in government but somewhere close to it. He said this would also contribute to nation building since the Great Council of Chiefs does not exist anymore.

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