Thursday, June 20, 2013

BAINIMARAMA: STOP POLITICAL CAMPAIGNING AT TAXPAYERS’ EXPENSE

UNITED FRONT FOR DEMOCRACY IN FIJI
STATEMENT: BAINIMARAMA SHOULD STOP POLITICAL CAMPAIGNING AT TAXPAYERS’ EXPENSE

Tuesday June 18 2013

In a follow up to their earlier call for the PM and AG to declare their salaries, the UFDF has today called on Commodore Bainimarama to stop his political campaigning at taxpayers’ expense.

The UFDF has called on Commodore Bainimarama to stop his political campaigning at taxpayers’ expense. He has to change his mindset and come to terms with changing circumstances.

The UFDF said it was unacceptable for him to continue as commander of the army having already announced he is running for parliamentary office. If he wants to remain a politician, he should resign as commander, leaving the field clear for the appointment of another leader of the Fiji military. If he wants to remain Military Commander, then he should resign as the Prime Minister. He cannot continue to have it both ways. If he is serious about holding free and fair election in 2014, then in the interests of fairness and standards of good governance, he should agree to stand aside and make way for an independent civilian caretaker administration to guide the country to elections.

The UFDF has called on Commodore Bainimarama to announce the formation of his own political party. He needs to announce its name and interim office bearers and front up with at least 5000 signatures for it to be registered. The signatures must be collected by volunteers because he cannot use the civil service or the army to do that for him.Those who join with him as political office bearers must follow the law introduced by Commodore Bainimarama and declare their assets and liabilities and those of their children.

The UFDF said Commodore Bainimarama should separately and immediately declare his assets and liabilities, his total annual salary and the amount he has earned in his six and a half years in power. It is not acceptable for him to follow the lead of his Attorney General, Mr Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, and declare that he will announce these financial details in the near future. The future is now. Commodore Bainimarama should open his financial affairs and details to public scrutiny now as a demonstration of the accountability and openness he so often calls on others to practise

The UFDF said there is no excuse for further delay. As prime minister, he has an obligation to tell the taxpayers who pay his salary whether he is earning approximately $1,300,000 a year, as reported recently. Similarly, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum must disclose his own salary and that of the other ministers.

It is also time for Commodore Bainimarama to reveal to the nation what political plans he has for the very unpopular Mr Sayed-Khaiyum who is also the most powerful of his ministers. In fact, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum maybe the most powerful politician in Fiji’s history, even though he is unelected and has no mandate. The UFDF said Mr Sayed-Khaiyum will presumably be Commodore Bainimarama’s running mate in the elections. They have worked closely together for more than seven years and form the narrow foundation of the current regime.

So Prime Minister, get on with it! Do the right thing; face your moment of truth, embrace your own political reforms and let’s get on with the battle of ideas you have called for.

Authorized By:

Ratu Jone Kubuabola
Mahendra Chaudhry
Raman Singh
Attar Singh
Mick Beddoes
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