31 May 2014

Fiji First party registration decried

4:36 pm on 31 May 2014

A group, which claimed the name Fiji 1st as a political party years before the Fiji regime took the party name this year, says the election authority was wrong to say that its registration was incomplete.

The Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem, approved the application of the Prime Minister Rear Admiral Frank Bainimarama's new party hours after rejecting a total of six objections for alleged breaches of regime decrees.

The alleged breaches of the Political Parties Decree put the regime party at risk of large fines and of jail sentences for its members.

One of the alleged breaches was the regime's use of the name of a previous or wound-up party.

Fiji 1st Party, which in 2009 was invited to a political party dialogue forum by the Bainimarama government, was wound up by the regime last year.

Mr Saneem found that while there was evidence that the former party's application for registration was gazetted, there was no gazetted notice of approval.

He also said the letter of objection by Fiji 1st's Anit Singh from last week was not signed.

However, Mr Singh and Fiji 1st claim that receipt of his signed letter was acknowledged before Mr Saneem threw out the objection.

The police, meanwhile, are still investigating the regime's party for alleged breaches of the Political Parties Decree.