Reaction to Electoral Commission
The Electoral Commission is right in urging political parties not to use race or religion as campaign tools.
The National Federation Party does not condone for a moment any campaign along racial and religious lines. We have consistently reminded all our provisional candidates to campaign on issues. Our provisional candidates are equipped with publications of issues that we are promoting. They have been in the public domain since 29th July last year.
No NFP provisional candidate has in 2014 elections campaign or during the current campaign, used race and religion as a campaign issue. There have been allegations labelled against three of our provisional candidates this year but they remain wild and unsubstantiated allegations.
In the first the case, the Attorney General himself travelled to the Northern Division and held a meeting urging people to come forward and say what a particular NFP candidate said. But nobody provided evidence.
In the second case, it was established that a fake facebook account was created in the name of a provisional candidate to post racially charged comments. The matter was reported to police.
In the latest case allegatons have been made against another provisional candidate in Ba. The provisional candidate has reported the matter to police each of the three times the allegations were published by the Fiji Sun. The police reports were emailed to the Fiji Sun last Friday. We know the political allegiance of those who made the allegations.
We also urge the Electoral Commission, FICAC and especially the media, particularly the Fiji Sun and FBC not to rely on heresay reports but irrefutable and conclusive evidence like voice and video recordings. It is easy to malign provisional candidates and political parties by making wild and unsubstantiated allegations. Failure to do so on the part of the media organisations make them guilty of colluding to fabricate such reports.
Professor Biman Prasad