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Urai, can he or can’t he?

While Fiji Trades Union Congress president Daniel Urai is adamant that he can contest the general elections while holding onto his non-paying position as president of the organisation, he may
16 Aug 2014 18:51

While Fiji Trades Union Congress president Daniel Urai is adamant that he can contest the general elections while holding onto his non-paying position as president of the organisation, he may have spoken too soon.

While the Fijian Elections Office has chosen to remain silent on this matter for now, with nominations opening for candidates, Mr Urai and the People’s Democratic Party may soon know whether they would field 50 or 49 candidates. Sources within the FTUC confirmed that Mr Urai was not paid for his role at the Union. However, he was given travelling allowance, per diems for overseas trips and sitting allowance.

The Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding, and Disclosures) Decree of 2013 under section 14 (1) (c) states that one who is declared a public officer cannot contest.

Section 14 (2) (d) goes on to define who falls within the ambit of a public officer, which reads:

(d) who is an elected or appointed officer of a trade union registered under the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007, or of any federation, congress, council or affiliation of trade unions, or of any federation, congress, council or affiliation of employers elected or appointed officer at a trade union or any federation, congress, council or affiliation or trade.

The 2013 Constitution however defines a public officer as: “any office in any federation, congress, council or affiliation of trade unions (whether elected or appointed to that office, and including any position or arrangement under which a person receives remuneration, salary, allowances or fees from any federation, congress, council or affiliation of trade unions).”

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