People’s Alliance Party Silent on Policies

Speaking during a press conference held at the Holiday Inn on Friday, Sitiveni Rabuka explained where they stood on a number of issues, including a possible post-elections coalition with the National Federation Party.
16 Jan 2022 14:31
People’s Alliance Party Silent on Policies
Peoples Alliance party leader Sitiveni Rabuka during the press conference in Suva on 14 January 2022. Photo-Leon Lord

The People’s Alliance Party is yet to finalise what its policies would be says party Leader Sitiveni Rabuka.

Speaking during a press conference held at the Holiday Inn on Friday, Mr Rabuka explained where they stood on a number of issues, including a possible post-elections coalition with the National Federation Party.
On Education:

Mr Rabuka had claimed that it was the SVT- led Government that started free education in Fiji in 1992.

Mr Rabuka claimed that the policy his government implemented in 1992 was supposed to have continued from a few classes in the first year to another set of classes then right up until tertiary level.

“It catered for anyone, from pure academic pursuit and for those wishing to go into technical areas,” he said.

“So we will be pursuing similar thoughts while we develop the manifesto that we will announce.”

He said his team was looking into all the pros and cons of all these policies that have been applied in the country and we would adopt one which they believed would be a future looking education policy for the country.

“The party is considering free education right up until tertiary level,” he said.

“How we will fund that will come up in the manifesto, it is a requirement of the law. When we make those announcements we will tell the people, we will be doing this and this is how much revenue we will raise to be able to meet expectations of our people with our policies.”

Fact check: This is not true. It was the Bainimarama Government that made education at the primary and secondary level in Fiji free for all students in 2013. Fiji has since then achieved universal access to primary education.


On Lease Distribution:

Mr Rabuka said his party would look into land issues as a whole and see that no one suffers.

“We will have to think about this also, we will take into consideration the whole community on which land is involved because there are some mataqali that gave up their land for the village sites, for the church and also for the graveyard but are not getting compensated for it.

“When you look at the west, you see those housing programmes in the villages. That is all from lease money when it was communally distributed and used.

“Now we have individuals who have healthy bank balances, how they will use it we do not know.”

He said they would announce their policy once they have relooked at all policies and developed their own.


On the Great Council of Chiefs:

Mr Rabuka said he was likely to include the reinstatement of the Great Council of Chiefs in his manifesto

“As I said we are developing our manifesto and that will also be studied by the special committee that will look after the iTaukei administration,” Mr Rabuka said.

“My own thoughts are that the Great Council of Chiefs is still a viable institution, a usable institution whether the original form is still useful in this generation or do we need to adapt it.”

Mr Rabuka gave an example of how different ethnicities were at the House of Law in England.


On Coalition with NFP:

Mr Rabuka said they were closely working with the National Federation Party and were open to the possibility of a coalition.

“I have worked closely together since 1995, 1996 when we started working closely on the revision of the 1990 Constitution,” Mr Rabuka said.

“In the 1999 election we stood together as a coalition partner, profusion voting and loss as Fiji was not ready for our multiracial concept at the time.”


On the Military:

Mr Rabuka revealed that they would reduce the size of the military if they saw the need.

“There has been a defence review carried out and I do not know what was recommended. We will look at those recommendations and may have to conduct our own,” he said.

“We will look at the international community and how much of a burden it is on us, or do we contribute to international peacekeeping and whether the nation and our economy can carry that burden.”

Mr Rabuka said he was in favour of all Fijian citizen being called Fijian.


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