NEWS

FijiFirst Launches Election Campaign

Men, women, children, young and old,  some travelled from as far as Serea Village in Naitasiri and Ba, last night participated in FijiFirst’s first campaign meeting for the November 14
03 Oct 2018 11:16
FijiFirst Launches Election Campaign
FijiFirst Party leader Voreqe Bainimarama with general secretary Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and party supporters during the party’s campaign launch for the November 14 General Election at the Shree Gopal Sadhu Hanumaan Gadhi Mandir in Nakasi on October 2, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Men, women, children, young and old,  some travelled from as far as Serea Village in Naitasiri and Ba, last night participated in FijiFirst’s first campaign meeting for the November 14 General Election.

A diverse crowd listened to party leader Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and other provisional candidates address them at the Shree Gopal Sadhu Hanumaan Gadhi Mandir at Nine Miles, Nakasi.

Joji Ramasima, 47, a dairy farmer was one of those who travelled down from Serea and had attended to show his support for FijiFirst.

“I heard from the candidates, they presented themselves well and I know they will help FijiFirst Government move this country forward. A lot of work has been done by this party and more is expected. I have seen progress in various areas – social welfare, schools, for farmers.

“Sitting here tonight one thing that struck me when Premila Kumar (provisional candidate and former Consumer Council of Fiji chief executive officer) talked about students being sent back for not being able to pay school fees and I thought to myself that it’s true and that used to happen and we are happy it’s not happening any more, we see progress and we know they will get more progress.”

Mr Bainimarama said being a grandfather of 19 grandchildren who gathered at his house every Sunday for lunch, he knew the importance of having a secure future for young Fijians.

“I think about what these young children here tonight want from us in the next fifteen years, good roads, better education, more opportunities, progress, growth and stability.

“You only have one vote, make best use of that vote because if you don’t, somebody else will win and the party that wins, I can guarantee you they will take the country backwards.”

“I tell people in Opposition that they sat in Parliament on the basis of the lies they told people.”

Party general secretary Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said people could expect nothing less than the truth from FijiFirst.

He encouraged people to look at the policies of the political parties who come around to campaign.

“You decide whether this country continues to progress in the manner it has in the past nine years.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum recalled one of the first incidents when he joined the Bainimarama-Government.

He remembered a lady walking into his office and saying that he had to appoint “three Fijians, three Indians and three others” to the Film and Censor Board. He said he asked her whether there was a legal requirement for such appointments to be on ethnicity. She informed him it wasn’t but that was “how things were done”.

He said Mr Bainimarama believed in seeing and appointing people on merit. He said the colonial mindset of seeing people on provincial grounds, along racial and religious grounds was never going to assist Fiji progress.

“Every single day somebody in Fiji is getting connected to electricity. Everyone is getting connected to electricity, to water and roads are being built in places where it was never built before.”

He added that Mr Bainimarama gave Fijians stability, equality and progress.

Provisional candidate Vijendra Prakash said it took a leader like Mr Bainimarama to draw people from different religious and racial backgrounds.

He said Mr Bainimarama had never looked at the race and religion of a person and the fact that a diverse group was present here was reflection of his leadership which saw us all as equals.    

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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