Updated: May 9, 2022
April 19, 2022
Absence of democracy in municipalities is causing
The total control and micro-management of municipal councils by the Bainimarama and Fiji First Governments for the last 13 years is largely responsible for the financial mess of most town and city councils, said National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad.
Professor Prasad said reports in the media show the shocking state of local government finances.
At the end of 2018, Fiji’s city and town councils were owed $31 million. By the end of 2021, this amount had doubled to more than $62 million.
“Whenever the opposition says something he does not like, the Prime Minister says they are “lies”. He cannot deny these figures. They have come from his own Minister for Local Government, Premila Kumar”.
“Services in some major urban areas are in a state of collapse. Corruption and fraud probes have been announced in at least five different town councils”.
“For 15 years, the Fiji First Government has refused to allow elected, accountable town and city councils. Why? Because, and only because of politics. It fears opposition parties winning local government elections.”
“And this is the result”.
“NFP’s policy is to give local government back to the people so that they, in partnership with the national government, can work to give to the people in towns and cities the services that they need”.