17 March 2022
NFP Leader on announcement of campaign period
No level playing field
The voters of Fiji will witness abuse of taxpayers funds and State resources by the Fiji First government during the official campaign period of the forthcoming general elections because there are no laws on a government going into caretaker mode during an election period, said National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad.
Professor Prasad said the report of the Multinational Observer Group (MOG) after the 2018 elections emphasised the need for the government to go into caretaker mode after observing how Fiji First Ministers were opening projects, handing out funds and making major policy decisions even during the period of Writs of Elections.
“Understandably, the Fiji First government did not adopt this MOG recommendation when amending the Electoral Act in June last year for obvious reasons”.
“This government doesn’t like transparency and accountability. Apart from the absence of any laws on a government going into caretaker mode before elections, which is the normal practice in a genuine democracy, this government has avoided getting parliament to enact the Code of Conduct legislation despite first tabling 6 years ago in April 2016”.
“So this government is free to operate like business as usual and not be held to account”.
The NFP Leader made the comments after the Electoral Commission announced that the campaign period for the elections shall commence on 26th April and end 48 hours before the elections.
“We have already seen the government electioneering. So one doesn’t have to be Einstein to know what is coming as we draw nearer to elections”.
“Apart from the cosmetic change in law prohibiting ministers from using government vehicles for campaign, they are free to do as they like. They simply don’t care of the consequences to the nation and the economy”.
“Yet we are required to furnish detailed information on how we will fund our promises despite not knowing the real picture of the economy or the treasury because this government is an expert in cooking statistics”.
“And if we don’t, then we are threatened with prosecution and conviction”.
“These kind of laws makes the campaign platform an Animal Farm”.
“This is because Fiji First has no political morality and integrity. All it is interested in is remaining in power at any cost”.
“But no matter what this government does, it will be rejected by the people at the polls”.