Tribute to Apisai Tora
Monday 10th August 2020
The National Federation Party says Apisai Vuniyayawa Tora was a firebrand trade unionist and politician who practiced what he preached and never shirked from the ideals that he thought any situation demanded.
Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad says Mr Tora became an integral and trusted member and ally of the NFP Leadership from the mid 1960’s to late 1970’s, serving under the leadership of the Party founder Ambalal Dahyabhai Patel and then his successor Siddiq Moidin Koya.
“A few years after the formation of the Federation Party, Mr Tora merged his National Democratic Party in 1960’s thereby giving now infamous identity of NFP to the oldest political party in the South Pacific”.
“Mr Tora served as an NFP Member of Parliament in the House of Representatives under the 1970 Constitution from 1972 to 1977. In the 2nd elections of September 1977, he lost to a party founder member Ratu Julian Toganivalu”.
“Mr Tora was not only a close ally of Mr S M Koya but also a close family friend of the Koyas. Despite his changing political views, he remained a close friend of Mr Koya and his family. After joining the Alliance Party a few years following his defeat in 1977, Mr Tora served as a MP for five years and after 1987 coup was a Minister in Ratu Mara’s interim government”.
“But as usual, after disagreements with Ratu Mara, he resigned to form his own political party, the ANC – All National Congress, which had its roots mostly in the Ba Province. Before 1999, he formed PANU or Party of National Unity that formed a coalition with the Fiji Labour Party”.
“His party won 4 seats but Mr Tora lost the Nadi Open Constituency after he was given the 2nd preference by the FLP despite being a leader of a coalition party”.
“While many people would liken Mr Tora to be a chameleon who forever changed his views, he remained steadfast to the ideals of multiracialism that was inculcated during his over a decade long active association with NFP. This can be seen with who his closest friends were – mainly members of the Indo-Fijian community”.
“The firebrand nature of politics and trade unionism that had become symbolic of Mr Tora’s long career, has come to an end with his death”.
Authorised by : -
Professor Biman Prasad