Politics

Draunidalo remains as NFP president

The President of the National Federation Party (NFP) and suspended parliamentarian Tupou Draunidalo will remain as the president of the party despite her suspension from Parliament earlier this month. This was the result after members of the party met and voted behind closed doors this afternoon at the party’s Working Committee meeting in Nadi. After the meeting, […]

Staff Writers

June 26, 2016 2:58 pm

The President of the National Federation Party (NFP) and suspended parliamentarian Tupou Draunidalo will remain as the president of the party despite her suspension from Parliament earlier this month.

NFP President Tupou Draunidalo speaking at the meeting in Nadi today. (Allison Penjueli/Newswire)
NFP President Tupou Draunidalo speaking at the meeting in Nadi today. (Allison Penjueli/Newswire)

This was the result after members of the party met and voted behind closed doors this afternoon at the party’s Working Committee meeting in Nadi.

After the meeting, NFP leader Professor Biman Prasad told Newswire that the working committee had authorised Draunidalo to remain as President and that the NFP will be considering legal actions regarding her suspension.

PRASAD: “The working committee condemned the unjustified and unwarranted harsh punishment handed out to Hon. Draunidalo in terms of the suspension for the rest of the term. The working committee has authorised the party leadership to consider options including legal action taking the matter to court as well as taking this matter to international organisations including the International Parliamentary Union and that is what we are going to do.”

NFP members and supporters present at the meeting in Nadi today. (Allison Penjueli/Newswire)
NFP members and supporters present at the meeting in Nadi today. (Allison Penjueli/Newswire)

However, when questioned if a replacement had been chosen to replace Draunidalo in parliament Professor Prasad said the issue was not discussed.

PRASAD: “That question has not risen at all, the party working committee has decided that Hon. Draunidalo remains a member of Parliament and obviously, this suspension has no impact on her position as the president of the party and she is obviously going to work very very hard in preparations for the 2018 elections and more in the organisation of the party.”

Meanwhile, the party’s Annual General meeting will be held on the 4th of September 2016 in Rakiraki.

The National Federation Party (NFP) needs to shape up and convince Fiji that it is the party for Government come the 2018 general elections.

(R-L) NFP President Tupou Draunidalo, Party leader Professor Biman Prasad and NFP General Secretary Bala Dass at the Working Committee meeting underway in Nadi. (Allison Penjueli/Newswire)
(R-L) NFP President Tupou Draunidalo, Party leader Professor Biman Prasad and NFP General Secretary Bala Dass at the Working Committee meeting currently underway in Nadi. (Allison Penjueli/Newswire)

This was said by NFP President Tupou Draunicalo while speaking at the opening of the party’s Working Committee meeting in Nadi this morning,

Draunidalo said members of their party have been talking about coups since the 1980s, 1990s and even until today and it was time that they convinced the people of Fiji that they were the fittest party for government come 2018 as they ‘were never a part of it’.

DRAUNIDALO: “This is the cost of coups our party needs to shape up and convince Fiji why are are the party for Government. This is what coup-culture brings arrogance and chaos.”

“We have to work hard, if we can not convince people than it is our fault.”

Later this afternoon, the party will vote on the resignation of Draunidalo from the NFP following her suspension from Parliament.

Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad said that he does not accept Draunidalo’s suspension.

PRASAD: “We do not accept the suspension. No member of this party can accept that suspension.”

The suspension of National Federation Party (NFP) President Tupou Draunidalo and the 2016-2017 National Budget will be extensively discussed at the NFP Working Committee in Nadi this morning.

In a statement, NFP General Secretary Bala Dass said that the Party Leader and Shadow Minister for Finance Hon. Professor Biman Prasad will also speak on parliamentary matters including the 2016-2017 budget handed down on 22nd June.

The Party leader expressed concern about the rising debt, which is he said is expected to be 50.4% of GDP next year.

The meeting will adopt resolutions on major issues on our national political and economic landscape.

The meeting gets underway at 10.30am at the “GDR Complex” on the Queens Highway, Malolo just outside of Nadi town.

A National Federation Party (NFP) meeting scheduled to take place today has been deferred to next week due to police rejecting the permit application.

NFP President Tupou Draunidalo and NFP Leader Biman Prasad.
NFP President Tupou Draunidalo and NFP Leader Biman Prasad.

However, NFP General Secretary, Mr Bala Dass said they did not need a permit to conduct the meeting.

READ: NFP to decide on Draunidalo’s future

DASS: “We wish to advise that the permit application was wrongly lodged as the Working Committee is an internal party meeting involving its Branches…This is a meeting held by Sections 30 to 33 of the NFP Constitution, therefore, is an internal members’ meeting who attend by invitation.”

Divisional Police Commander for the Western Division, SSP Marika Yalimaiwai told Newswire NFP did not submit the permit within the required timeframe.

YALIMAIWAI: “The permit should be applied within seven days so assessments can be done and that is what we explained to him (NFP General Secretary Bala Dass). We explained to him, because the permit he applied for on Monday, and they wanted to do the meeting on Sunday so told him that it should take seven days. They only applied five days before the meeting.”

SSP Yalimaiwai said NFP had applied for another permit for next Sunday catering for 300 people and 50 vehicles.

NFP Leader, Hon Biman Prasad told Newswire the meeting would have discussed NFP MP Tupou Draunidalo’s suspension among other issues.

PRASAD: “There are a number of issues that will be discussed, including the discussion on the proposed sugar cane industry bill and other matters before the party.”

The meeting will now take place at “GDR Complex” on the Queens Highway, Malolo just outside of Nadi town next Sunday.

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