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The National Federation Party (NFP) has come out strongly defending the inclusion of a former Fiji First parliamentarian into the party.
Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad made the statement following public comments on Colonel Pio Tikoduadua’s decision to join the NFP.
Questions are being publicly raised on NFP’s principles and it’s stance in relation to engagement with those linked to political upheavals.
Following the announcement of former Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Pio Tikoduadua joining the National Federation Party, there has been mixed reactions from the public.
Questions have also been raised on Tikoduadua’s association with the events of 2006 and the NFP’s principles of not engaging with those linked to these events.
“Let me say to those who are having or raising questions about his entry into NFP and raising questions as to why NFP has accepted him, must look back to their own past and to those who were part of the coup government. NFP and its leader’s right from the days of 87 were at the forefront of opposing the 87 coup.
The NFP leaders and those who supported the party at the time like us were at the forefront of condemning the coup in 2000 and more importantly all the leaders of NFP and supporters of NFP like us condemned the 2006 coup. So it is very very important for people to understand that NFP remains the only party right now who has never supported a coup, which has never condoned a coup and will never support a coup, that is the bottom line” said Prasad.
During the events of 2006, Tikoduadua stated he was studying in Canberra at the Australian Command and Staff College.
He joined Government shortly after, initially as Permanent Secretary for Justice and later as Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister from 2008 to 2014.
“As far as we are concerned it is our values and people who are going to join NFP will have to share the values and principles that NFP holds dear and Tikoduadua has very clearly stated in his statement that he believes in freedom, he believes in the freedom of the media and an inclusive stable and genuine democracy and those are the values that we cherish “
Colonel Tikoduadua also stated other reasons for leaving government claiming that nobody’s opinion mattered, except those of the Prime Minister and the Attorney-General.
” I’ve always found him to be a person wanting to move Fiji forward with a genuine democracy, freedom, freedom of the press and respecting each others human rights” said Prasad
The NFP Leader said the party will be fielding a strong line-up of candidates for the elections.
Meanwhile, comments were sought from the Prime Minister and Attorney General.
SOURCE: FIJI TV/PACNEWS
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