Fijian PM ‘fooling around’ over election date, claims Prasad

By Felix Chaudhary in Suva Opposition National Federation Party (NFP) leader Professor Biman Prasad claims Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama is “fooling around” and “pretending” he does not know the general election date while FijiFirst party billboards are being erected across the country. In a statement issued yesterday, Dr Prasad said questions needed to be asked

By Felix Chaudhary in Suva

Opposition National Federation Party (NFP) leader Professor Biman Prasad claims Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama is “fooling around” and “pretending” he does not know the general election date while FijiFirst party billboards are being erected across the country.

In a statement issued yesterday, Dr Prasad said questions needed to be asked about who was calling the shots on the date of the upcoming polls.

“Is it Voreqe Bainimarama or his right-hand man Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum,” the NFP leader asked.

He said the question begged an answer “after contradictory statements by the Prime Minister on the election date”.

Dr Prasad said the A-G had said that the elections would be held on a Wednesday.

This meant polling could either be on Wednesday, December 14; Wednesday, December 21; Wednesday, December 28 this year; or Wednesday, January 4; or Wednesday, January 11, 2023.

The NFP leader said the last date for the elections was Monday, January 16, 2023, as Section 59(2) of the 2013 Constitution stipulated that the Writ for Elections must be issued within seven days of the expiry of Parliament.

‘Gigantic’ billboards
He said the term of the current Parliament expires Saturday, November 26, but January 16 was “out of the question since the A-G has stated elections will be held on a Wednesday”.

“Surely, Sections 58(3) and 59(1) of the Constitution, which require the Prime Minister to advise the President to issue the Writ for the Elections, is known to both Bainimarama and Sayed-Khaiyum,” Dr Prasad said.

“So why is the PM fooling around, pretending he doesn’t know the election date, but at the same time gigantic billboards of the FijiFirst party are being erected all over the country in prime locations.

“The PM is fooling no one when he falsely claims not to have any knowledge of the date of the general election.

“He is creating uncertainty and disrupting the plans of the citizens for the holiday season.”

Questions sent yesterday to the PM and the A-G on the comments made by Dr Prasad remained unanswered.

Felix Chaudhary is a Fiji Times reporter. Republished with permission.


This content originally appeared on Asia Pacific Report and was authored by APR editor.


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