RAPE CLAIM TWIST
■ Papua New Guinea Police show interest in allegation ■ Biman Prasad to issue statement after meeting Tikotikoca today
The Fiji Police Force has been in contact with its Papua New Guinea counterparts regarding allegations of rape against the National Federation Party provisional candidate, Romanu Tikotikoca.
Well-placed sources within the Fiji Police Force have confirmed that their PNG counterparts have shown great interest in the allegations against Fiji’s former High Commissioner. Confirmation has also come from the Office of the PNG Police Commissioner Gari Baki that they are working with
the Fijian Police Force to delve deeper into the rape allegations.
However, whether that materialises into an investigation is yet to be seen as Mr Tikotikoca would have been covered by diplomatic immunity at the time of the alleged rape.
Meanwhile Mr Tikotikoca has opted not to speak to media regarding the allegations of rape made against him by his former housemaid.
Mr Tikotikoca flew in from Levuka to Nausori yesterday morning and went straight to his residence in Kalabu.
When the Fiji Sun team arrived at his home, a family member said he was resting and they would not disturb him. The Fiji Sun team waited outside his home for over an hour, but he did not surface.
NFP leader Biman Prasad said he was in Rakiraki and would be meeting with Mr Tikotikoca today. He said a statement will be released after the meeting with Mr Tikotikoca.
However, women candidates of NFP are also quiet on the allegations faced by Mr Tikotikoca. But Minister for Women Mereseini Vuniwaqa said: “Standing for elections is a high calling that comes with a huge responsibility to get your house in order and keep it in order. Rape is an abhorrence to society and I do not condone it nor can it be justified on any level.
“We all know that an accused is innocent until proven guilty but for those aspiring to be parliamentarians, the onus is to ask ourselves the hard questions before standing for elections is real: are we worthy of representing our fellow Fijians in parliament? Do we epitomise what the average law-abiding, morally astute Fijian citizen looks for in a leader?
“If we answer that question affirmatively then we leave it to our peers - the voters of Fiji to judge our decision during election time. At the end of the day it is the public perception that becomes the yardstick for somebody who has been alleged to have committed such an offence and has been allowed by his or her party to stand for elections under that party's banner,” she said.