NEWS

Analysis: Election Case Publicity Stunt By SODELPA NFP

The petition case on the election which collapsed yesterday was a political publicity gimmick by SODELPA and the National Federation Party. And, not only that, SODELPA once again was taken
21 Dec 2018 10:00
Analysis: Election Case Publicity Stunt By SODELPA NFP
National Federation Party Leader Biman Prasad outside Court on December 13, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

The petition case on the election which collapsed yesterday was a political publicity gimmick by SODELPA and the National Federation Party.

And, not only that, SODELPA once again was taken for a ride and outsmarted by the NFP into doing their bidding at their own cost.

NFP, not SODELPA, had everything to gain from this case.

It was hoping for a miracle that the case could yield an extra seat in Parliament.

SODLEPA, content with six extra seats, was going for the joy ride and some publicity would be a bonus.

But the case has backfired on both parties. NFP will sink further into the political whirlpool.

SODELPA, despite the social media hype, will find a chink in its credibility armour.

It did not need to leave its comfortable position and pursue a case hanging on flimsy evidence. It became a waste of time and resources.

In fact, this case should not have gone to court in the beginning. If they were serious, action should have been taken before Voreqe Bainimarama was sworn in as Prime Minister, followed by the ministers and the rest of the MPs.

The democratic process and governance had too far gone in front that it would need compelling evidence to undo that.

When the MPs were sworn in, it meant that they had accepted the election outcome.

So the case came as a surprise. But it was no surprise when NFP leader Biman Prasad joined the more vocal SODELPA crowd that included Aid Litia Qionibaravai to try to serve petition notices on FijiFirst MPs at Suvavou House.

The exercise expended some energy. But he did not mind because if the case succeeded, NFP could benefit from it.

But he has hardly been seen in court since.

It was SODELPA lawyer Filimoni Vosarogo who seemed to have done most of the legwork here. This was NFP leader Mr Prasad’s last chance to turn the tide in his favour.

Had he got an additional seat, he would have stayed on as the NFP leader. People in his social circle are aware of Mr Prasad’s predicament. He wants to leave NFP, but he is being held back by the older presence in the Party.

Waste of time:

If SODELPA together with NFP were serious about this case, why did they leave it till the very last day to file their documents? They failed to follow basic court rules.

On this basis, they sought leave from court to withdraw their petition from court.

They – SODELPA and NFP- sat on this matter for 20 days. They had good time to serve all summons, file in relevant documents in time. But they did not.

What now for Mr Prasad’s future? If his associates are to be believed, he does not want to stay on, but he has been restrained by older heads in the party. He wants to hand over the reins to someone else.

But will he be allowed to do so? Time will tell.

Feedback: jyotip@ fijisun.com.fj

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