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Long serving member and former University of the South Pacific (USP) academic, Professor Biman Prasad has been chosen to lead the National Federation Party (NFP) in Fiji's general election which will take place on September 17, 2014.
Professor Prasad was elected during NFP's annual congress in Nadi on the weekend.
Suva lawyer Tupou Draunidalo has been elected as the new president of the party.
Pramod Chand was elected the new vice president while Dalip Kumar was elected the new treasurer.
Kamal Iyer was elected the new general secretary.
Outgoing president Raman Pratap Singh said he has full faith and confidence in the newly elected leaders and believes the party will win significant number of seats in the general election.
Meanwhile, Fiji’s National Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad has challenged the head of the Fijian Government, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama to a debate in the lead up to the 2014 Election.
He said doing so would underline the government’s commitment to a fair and transparent election process, one that would allow Fijian voters to make the right decision when the country head to the polls on 17 September 2014.
“Mr Bainimarama, if you indeed are ready to stand on your record, join me in a public debate on your record,” Prasad said.
He also called on all eligible Fijian voters to question the government as well as other aspiring persons looking to contest the election and represent the people on what they stand ready to offer the people as an alternative for the betterment of their lives in the present time and future.
“Our people don’t need pity, they need respect and they need their freedoms,” Prasad said.
“Most of all they need fair play.”
Accordingly he called for the removal of those decrees that restrict people’s right to association and freedom of expression.
He also said policies and promises made which will be hard to sustain and fulfil under current difficult conditions need to be reviewed. Prasad said the party’s vision for Fiji is one where people have the freedom to earn a decent living, freedom to question the government, freedom from fear and oppression.
“It is a Fiji where we will promote the delivery of services to all without fear and favor.
“A Fiji where businesses are allowed to flourish, where economic growth is sustainable, Fiji where employment is plentiful, Fiji where people will want to live and make their homes and not think about migrating at any cost.”
NFP he says will encourage women candidates in this election adding that their manifesto will contain policies towards gender equality and empowerment of women. The party also plans to engage with young, women, persons with disability, refrain from condemning old politicians and leaders and chiefs, but rather seek out their wisdom and advice.
A confident leader said the party will re-claim its rightful place in Fiji’s politics, to return to parliament with a substantial number of seats.
“We will not be dictatorial, we will not be vindictive, we will not harass and we will not go out on a witch hunt. We will promote a politics of consensus not partisanship. We will bring in a politics of inclusiveness and not divisiveness.
“The new NFP is a party which will stick to its enduring values of freedom for our people, democracy and good governance, humility and understanding of the unique nature of our society.
“It believes in an open and accountable government.” Prasad further says the party understands and embrace changes in the expectations of young people who aspire to live in a free, peaceful and progressive country.
In the next few months, key leaders of NFP will travel throughout the country to discuss and present their policies.
To coincide with the election of their new officebearers, the party also put out advertisements inviting expressions of interests from interested persons to contest the election under its banner
Former president Raman Pratap Singh said applicants must have a record of service to the community, “compassion for the less fortunate, show supporting his or her community and commitment to the rule of law, democracy and human rights.”
The party especially encourages applications from youth and women.
SOURCE: FIJI LIVE/PACNEWS
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