15 Sep 2014

Fiji First stages big rally in Nausori

7:15 am on 15 September 2014

Four days out from Fiji's historic election Fiji Fiji, the party set up by the regime which seized power eight years ago, has staged a major rally at Nausori.

On Wednesday people go to the polls for the first time in more than eight years.

Under rules laid down by the Frank Bainimarama Government, campaigning and discussion of political matters, has to stop soon after day break on Monday morning.

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Photo: RNZI Philippa Tolley

Our reporter Philippa Tolley who is in Fiji says Fiji First's rally at Nausori showed the vast financial resources they have available for their campaigning.

"It has been billed as a family fun day, this Fiji First rally, but all the candidates have been coming on stage one at a time talking about what is happening. It is like a theme park - there are ferris wheels, just in front of me there is a food tent, there are masses of children, everybody has got the Fiji First shirts on, Fiji First banners, bracelets, umbrellas - so it is absolutely everywhere, but Frank Bainimarama has already spoken and he spoke very strongly saying they want all 50 seats. They want a clean sweep of it. He says you vote for anybody else that is throwing your vote away."

The Secretary General of Fiji First , Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, told Radio New Zealand that members of other parties were resorting to intimidating tactics.

"In fact the other political parties have their goons around. They have gone around slashing our posters and banners. So, a couple of people have already been charged for example in Vanua Levu. We've had vehicles vandalised, people's homes have been stoned, including some journalists' recently. That's very disappointing - we thought they would have a certain level of maturity but it also goes to show a certain level of desperation on their part."

The indigenous Fijian backed Sodelpa party says Frank Bainimarama runs the administration as if it were the military and he operates a dictatorship.

SODELPA says the party was stopped from staging a march on Friday even though it had been given police approval.

SODELPA and other groups have continued to raise concerns about the lack of awareness education by the government over what is a the new and unusual electoral process.

Fiji First leader Frank Bainimarama addresses the rally in Suva.

Fiji First leader Frank Bainimarama addresses the rally in Suva. Photo: RNZ / Philippa Tolley