Politics

NFP vows to continue with legal action

The National Federation Party (NFP) believes the Supervisor of Elections did not interpret the law correctly when he suspended the party earlier this month. Speaking at a press conference today, NFP Leader Dr. Biman Prasad said court proceedings had been filed by their lawyers Munro Leys to challenge the suspension by the Fijian Elections Office. […]

Peni Shute

February 19, 2016 2:44 pm

The National Federation Party (NFP) believes the Supervisor of Elections did not interpret the law correctly when he suspended the party earlier this month.

Speaking at a press conference today, NFP Leader Dr. Biman Prasad said court proceedings had been filed by their lawyers Munro Leys to challenge the suspension by the Fijian Elections Office.

nfp-press-conference-feb-19-2016
National Federation Party President, Tupou Draunidalo and Party President, Dr. Biman Prasad during a press conference this afternoon at Tamavua. Source: Peni Shute / Newswire.

The proceedings were filed at the High Court Registry at 10am on Monday 15th February. We have instructed our lawyers to continue with this legal action. They are awaiting for the release of the papers from the High Court and they will be served on the Supervisor of Elections after that.

Dr. Prasad said they challenged the Supervisor of Elections findings that NFP was in breach of the Political parties decree.

We do not believe he interpreted the law correctly on the question of who may audit those accounts.

We have also challenged his decision to suspend NFP. We do not believe it was necessary for him to do that and we do not believe the law allowed him to do that. We have also challenged his notice that we were restricted from various political party activities during the period of suspension. We do not believe the law allows us to be restricted in that way

Dr. Prasad said the issue should be resolved by the courts.

We believe it is important for these issues to be resolved by the courts. This is to ensure that everybody, including the Supervisor of Elections, understands how the Political Parties Decree should operate in a democracy.

Dr. Prasad said his party was also taking legal advice on the decision by the Speaker to suspend the NFP’s MPs from Parliament and whether we should take action on that.

Because these matters are or may in future be before the Courts, on legal advice we do not wish to comment any further on matters relating to our suspension.

Speaker of Parliament Dr Jiko Luveni has made a statement regarding the lifted suspension of National Federated Party.

I have now received notification from the Supervisor of Elections, in his capacity as the Registrar of Political Parties that having complied with the requirements as set out by the Registrar in the notice of suspension effective 1st February, 2016. The suspension of NFP as a political party was lifted with effect from Thursday, 18 February 2016.

Speaker of Parliament, Dr. Jiko Luveni.
Speaker of Parliament, Dr. Jiko Luveni. Source: Parliament of Fiji.

From the effective date, the suspension from Parliament of the NFP Parliamentarians is hereby lifted. This means participation in Parliament or in any of the committees of Parliament may resume from the effective date. Furthermore, remuneration from Parliament will also resume from the effective date. Therefore, I will be writing immediately to the NFP Members to inform them of the same.

Dr. Biman Prasad confirmed he had received the letter from the Speaker of Parliament, Dr. Jiko Luveni.

We have this morning received a letter from the speaker, informing us that as of yesterday we have all the rights and privileges as members of Parliament and we can participate in meetings, committees of parliament and any other activity that the parliament undertakes.

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