■ Pa­pua New Guinea Po­lice show in­ter­est in al­le­ga­tion ■ Bi­man Prasad to is­sue state­ment af­ter meet­ing Tikotikoca to­day

Fiji Sun - - Front Page - JY­OTI PRATIBHA and ASHNA KU­MAR SUVA

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.

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