NEWS

ANALYSIS: Reality Check For Suspended NFP

It’s reality check time for the suspended National Federation Party. Before it starteds pointing fingers at Government and other institutions, it should have cleaned up its own backyard first. It’s
02 Feb 2016 11:23
ANALYSIS: Reality Check For Suspended NFP
Leader of suspended NFP Biman Prasad. Photo: Rama

It’s reality check time for the suspended National Federation Party.

Before it starteds pointing fingers at Government and other institutions, it should have cleaned up its own backyard first.

It’s suspension for breaching the provisions of the Political Parties decree has a come as a surprise. This is a suspended party that likes to claim it follows the highest standards of rules, ethics and statutes.

If this was an administrative oversight, then those responsible should be taken to task.

The suspended party also has enough legal brain power to ensure that its 2013-2014 Annual Audited accounts sent to the Registrar of Political Parties had met all the legal requirements. But the Registrar, Mohammed Saneem said the accounts were not audited by an accountant certified by the Fiji Institute of Accountants. This was a breach of section 26 (2) of the Political Parties Decree 2013.

For a party that has been highly critical of FijiFirst Government policies and governance, this is an ignominious political blunder. It is an embarrassment.

It questions the credibility of the the suspended NFP as a viable party and a partner in an alternative government.

The suspended NFP is a junior partner of the SODELPA-dominated Opposition and two of its three MPs hold shadow ministers portfolios.

Leader suspended NFP Biman Prasad is Finance spokesman while Tupou Draunidalo is spokesperson for Defence. Mr Prasad is also chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee. Have they just taken on too much to chew? If this was not enough, the party committed another blunder when it went ahead with a scheduled press conference after receiving a notice from Mr Saneem that the party had been suspended.

If it had missed it, the suspended NFP was told that under section 19 (3) b  the party “ cannot operate, function, represent or hold itself out to be a political party.”

That press conference was in breach of this provision.

It seems ironical that in that press conference, it is understood that the suspended NFP was going to announce Mr Prasad, Mrs Draunidalo and Prem Singh would boycott Parliament when it reconvenes for its first sitting this year next Monday.

The suspended NFP was bitter about Government’s rejection of its proposal for a bipartisan approach to dealing with national issues. The proposed boycott of Parliament was to be the response.

The three MPs don’t have to do that now. They are likely to be suspended from Parliament by virtue of the suspension order.

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 

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