21 Jun 2013

Fiji parties' finances disclosed

9:12 am on 21 June 2013

The financial records of officials and applicants of the three registered political parties in Fiji have been published by the Registrar of Political parties.

The declarations had to be submitted under the regime's poltical parties decree, which requires parties, their members and executives to reveal all assets and liabilities, as well as those of spouses and children.

This includes personal incomes, assets, business connections, directorships, gifts and expenditure.

FBC reports the Fiji Labour Party has declared over 16,000 US dollars of assets, which includes 15,900 dollars cash being held at the Bank of Baroda.

The party's general secretary, Mahendra Chaudhry, has a total asset base of about two million US dollars in cash and property. He receives no income for his roles with the Party or the National Farmers Union.

The National Federation Party has 517 dollars in its bank account, but has 130,000 dollars worth of property.

The president, Raman Singh, has around 11,000 dollars, as well as a portfolio of 26 properties in Bua, Seaqaqa, Dreketi, Naitasiri, Savusavu, Naisinu and Suva.

He also has two vehicles with two life insurance policies and a 21,000 dollars income.

Meanwhile, the SODELPA party has declared 18 hundred dollars in assets.

Party President Adi Kepa has declared 500 dollars in current assets with 134,000 dollars worth of property.

However, according to Fiji Village, many of the officials and applicants in all parties have not revealed their sources of income, with some applicants showing only specific bank balances,

Many applicants have not revealsed the assets and liabilities of their children who are over 18 years.

The meaning of a child was never defined in the decree and the parties had previously announced that they would not be providing those details.

The Registrar of Political Parties, Mohammed Saneem says this is just the first step in the declaration process and his office will now be verifying the declarations.

According to the decree, any person who fails to comply with the requirements could face a 27 thousand dollar fine or 10 year in prison, or both.