NATION

Nagata Explains: I Earned Those Votes

Alipate Tuicolo Nagata has refuted claims by media organisations that he garnered many votes because his poll number was similar to that of FijiFirst leader Voreqe Bainimarama’s. Also a FijiFirst
16 Nov 2018 10:00
Nagata Explains: I Earned Those Votes
Alipate Tuicolo Nagata

Alipate Tuicolo Nagata has refuted claims by media organisations that he garnered many votes because his poll number was similar to that of FijiFirst leader Voreqe Bainimarama’s.

Also a FijiFirst candidate, Mr Nagata said the Fijian Elections Office had conducted awareness programmes for political candidates and people were handed voter identification booklets.

“So everyone would have familiarised themselves with the candidate numbers,” he said.

Mr Nagata attracted a lot public attention after provisional results from the FEO revealed he had received more than 5000 votes in the provisional results, ahead of candidates more popular candidates.

And therefore, the surprise in results was said to have been attributed to the similarity in candidate numbers with his and that of Mr Bainimarama.

Mr Nagata said during the campaign Mr Bainimarama’s candidate number was consistently being promoted and therefore was no reason to be mistaken for his number.

Mr Nagata, 40, is originally from Nukuilau, Navosa.

He said he expected more votes because he was focussed on campaigning in Navosa and its surrounding areas and the Coral Coast where he would have earned a lot of support.

His campaign manager, Ropate Labalaba, said that they also campaigned in Nasinu and Tailevu.

“Realising the close relationship between the Tui Magodro and the FijiFirst party leader, we went directly to him in Bukuya,” Mr Labalaba said.

“He assured us that all the villages under his jurisdiction would vote for Alipate as their candidate.”

Mr Nagata holds a Bachelor in Business Degree from the Pacific Adventist University in Papua New Guinea. Before joining politics he was a Voter Awareness Assistant for the Fijian Elections Office.

Mr Nagata said his uncle Penia Dakua, who raised him as a child, was a Labour Party Candidate in the Nadroga, Navosa and Serua open seat in the 2006 General Election.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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