Regime appoints defeated candidates

Issue No: 744; 10 May 2001

The Qarase regime has appointed 3 candidates who lost the Cane growers' election, to the Sugar Cane Growers Council. The 3 belonged to the National Federation Party's Fiji Cane Growers Association.

Under the law, the interests of the country's sugar cane farmers is looked after by the Sugar Cane Growers Council. The Council has 38 elected representatives and 8 persons nominated by the state.

On Tuesday, the regime announced its 8 appointees after consulting with the CEO of the Council. The CEO is the past secretary of the Fiji Cane Growers Association, formed by the NFP in 1993 and maintains his ties with them. The 8 persons nominated are 3 candidates who lost to the National Farmers Union - Paula Saukuru, Tevita Nacagilevu, and Mohammed Azam Khalil, and five others: Semi Vosamosi, Rusiate Musudroka, Gabrieli Kitione Nadura, Ulaiasi Nasilasila, and Noor Ali.

Answering questions from the media, the regime responded that the 8 were nominated as a balanced group, and on the basis of their sincerity, honesty, and dedication to serve the sugar industry.

The appointments were clearly designed to subvert the will of the people as expressed in a free election. The regime does not want the NFU to lead the Council.

The NFU has challenged the appointments in court.

The NFU has also challenged the results of at least 4 sectors where irregularities were found. These 4 seats are likely to come to the NFU.


People's Coalition Government - Fiji Islands
Last update: August 27, 2001