Election issues

Vijay Maharaj, Sydney, Australia | Friday, April 21, 2017
THE general election is about 12 months away, but it appears to me that major political parties are already shaping up.
Rubbish scattered along the new Housing Authority subdivision at Tacirua 
East. Picture: SUPPLIED
Rubbish scattered along the new Housing Authority subdivision at Tacirua East. Picture: SUPPLIED

Groundwork has already started and I predict there will be a few surprises with the result after the next election.

I personally would like to see a strong Opposition in our Parliament, no matter which party forms the next government.

The old horse, the National Federation Party, is gradually gaining strength and may give us some surprises. I believe the inclusion of ex-government ministers is an indication of its success.

I personally believe the NFP may not be able to form the next government on its own, but surely it will have an increased number of seats in Parliament.

I believe there are few plus points for the party and these are;

* It strongly opposed and voted against the government motion in Parliament to increase their own allowance. On principle it refused to accept any increase. I believe this will have a lot of influence on poor sections of the community;

* About two months ago the leader of NFP, Professor Biman Prasad, wrote two feature articles in The Fiji Times. This was on sugarcane farming. I believe he supported his arguments with relevant facts and figures. Until today I believe neither the Government nor the Fiji Sugar Corporation disputed his article;

* The NFP tabled a motion in Parliament to appoint a bi-partisan committee to look at ways to rescue the ailing sugar industry. I believe the party clearly proved with figures the decline of sugarcane production in the past 10 years. I believe this motion was rejected by the Government; and

* I believe the NFP is seen to be fighting hard to see that the cost of living is reduced. Quite a few times I believe it suggested to remove the value added tax (VAT) from basic food items but so far no result. May be in the budget which is not too far.

At present I am not a member of any political party, but the views expressed above are my independent and personal feelings and should not be taken as a campaign for a group or party. I will surely join and campaign for the party of my choice after six months from now.

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