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Vote2018: Nata Told, Stop Attacking Politicians

A SODELPA provisional candidate believes party affiliates need to tone down personal attacks against other politicians, and focus on pertinent issues. Rewa chief Ro Filipe Tuisawau made the statement during an
16 Sep 2018 11:16
Vote2018: Nata Told, Stop Attacking Politicians
SODELPA member Watisoni Nata at Lomanikoro Village, Rewa, on September 15, 2018. Photo: Simione Haravanua

SODELPA provisional candidate believes party affiliates need to tone down personal attacks against other politicians, and focus on pertinent issues.

Rewa chief Ro Filipe Tuisawau made the statement during an informal talanoa session yesterday after the official SODELPA Suva Constituency Awareness meeting at Lomanikoro Village in Rewa.

Lomanikoro is the traditional seat for Rewa Province and the Burebasaga Confederacy.

Ro Filipe was responding to concerns raised by the villagers after the meeting.

They had questioned Ro Filipe about the role of SODELPA member, Watisoni Nata, who led the discussion at the chiefly village.

Mr Nata is the president of the Suva constituency and former chief executive officer of Strategic Air Services Limited (SASL).

“I spoke to Mr Nata after the meeting. I told him that he should be careful about what he says during the party’s pocket meetings and that he needs to focus more on issues that concern the people,” Ro Filipe said.

During the presentation at Lomanikoro, Mr Nata advanced frivolous claims about Government claiming their Parliament members were chosen by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama to be his “lave liga squad” (Hands up squad).

“You have seen what is being done in FijiFirst. The votes did not reach Parliament. It only reached Bai who then chose his ‘lave liga squad’,” Mr Nata said.

“We want to assure you that we will preserve your votes and ensure that it reaches Parliament.”

He also said a relative, who is the Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Jone Usamate, only received 600 votes.

However, according to the Fijian Elections Office 2014 official results Mr Usamate received 939 votes.

Mr Nata continued the attack: “He (Mr Usamate) is now scared. When he is told to stand up, Jone will stand up. When he is told to sit down, he will sit down. When he is told to wait outside he will wait outside. But he is a minister.

“That is why he was voted into Parliament. Bainimarama chose him to go to Parliament.”

Mr Usamate declined to comment on the so-called claims. However, he did say that those with FijiFirst supported the ideas of the party and fought for the best interest of all Fijians.

Mr Nata also urged villagers to vote for SODELPA whom he said would be elected into power and formulate laws to protect native land.

Mr Nata also said when people were given “freebies” by the Government their loyalty was swayed.

“Developments are done for good housing, improve standard of living then they (government) introduce things to persuade you,” he said.

“When you are swayed your vision is blurred and your ears become deaf. All that is the government’s job to provide. Employment opportunity, freebies.”

He said Indo-Fijians remained loyal to their party of choice despite the handouts given to them by the Government.

“The Indo-Fijians, no matter how many years since they came they remain true to the National Federation Party, and the Fiji Labour Party,” Mr Nata said.

“But for us once we are promised something we jump from party to party. Your loyalty is swayed because you go where your stomach takes you.”

He then urged them to accept what the Government gave them, but not to let it influence their beliefs.

SODELPA provisional candidate Tanya Waqanika pleaded with those present to get registered to vote.

She claimed that the Land Use Decree of 2010 was passed without any consultation adding that it did not give any redress to landowners.

She also explained the D’Hondt method of electoral system, which calculates a five per cent threshold from the total number of votes cast.

“496,364 votes were cast in 2014. Five per cent threshold is worked from that number, which is 24,880. The party that does not receive 24,880 votes waste their votes this included the People’s Democratic Party, Fiji Labour Party,” she said, adding that the system was not good for small parties and independent candidates.

“This year we have seen that the number of people has increased so the minimum threshold will be between 30,000-31,000.”

Ms Waqanika feels this year’s election is an interesting one with only two top party contenders, SODELPA and FijiFirst. Also present yesterday was Nadi provisional candidate, Jone Kata.

Feedback:  fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj

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