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“We will not tolerate any Fijian being threatened, bullied or black-mailed to vote for a political party in the 2018 general election” says Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.
This assurance was given to residents of Kuluvota Moala settlement in Nadera by Bainimarama.
Families in this settlement are living in fear after they claim the landowner in the area threatened to evict them if they don’t vote for Sitiveni Rabuka’s Opposition SODELPA party.
The Prime Minister, Attorney General and the Police Commissioner met with residents of this small informal community to assure them they’re safe and there’s no need to live in distress.
Bainimarama says his assurance of safety is for all communities regardless of whether they live in informal or formal settlements.
“You have the right to vote for anyone. That rights shouldn’t be taken from you. So feel safe. Don’t feel threatened about where you staying and because you might be removed if you don’t vote for a particular party in this case SODELPA. I’m not here as FijiFirst. I’m here as your Prime Minister.
We want to tell you that you’re safe in Fiji. No one is to threaten you. I want you to tell us if anyone is threatening you so we can continue to assure you and tell you that you’re safe. We don’t want people to come and tell you because you’ve gone to the papers you must now Go. We don’t want that to happen,” said Bainimarama.
Residents living in this informal settlement don’t have proper lease documents after a Tenancy at Will arrangement with the landowners.
They say the land is owned by Litia Rawiriwiri – the national President of the SODELPA Women’s Wing who allegedly told them this week that they will be evicted from the land they are living in if they don’t vote for 1987 coup leader Sitiveni Rabuka’s SODELPA party.
Police Commissioner Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho told FBC News that while it’s too early to comment, investigations have begun.
They will forward complaints to the Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption if they find any breach of the electoral process.
SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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