Nata told: Stop At­tack­ing Politi­cians

Rewa chief cau­tions SODELPA Suva Con­stituency pres­i­dent Wati­soni Nata about mak­ing wild claims Lo­manikoro vil­lagers query Nata’s role at party meet­ing

Fiji Sun - - Front Page - FONUA TALEI

ASODELPA pro­vi­sional can­di­date be­lieves party af­fil­i­ates need to tone down per­sonal at­tacks against other politi­cians, and fo­cus on per­ti­nent is­sues.

Rewa chief Ro Filipe Tui­sawau made the state­ment dur­ing an in­for­mal talanoa ses­sion yes­ter­day af­ter the of­fi­cial SODELPA Suva Con­stituency Aware­ness meet­ing at Lo­manikoro Vil­lage in Rewa.

Lo­manikoro is the tra­di­tional seat

for Rewa Prov­ince and the Bure­basaga Con­fed­er­acy. Ro Filipe was re­spond­ing to con­cerns raised by the vil­lagers af­ter the meet­ing. They had ques­tioned Ro Filipe about the role of SODELPA mem­ber, Wati­soni Nata, who led the dis­cus­sion at the chiefly vil­lage. Mr Nata is the pres­i­dent of the Suva con­stituency and former chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Strate­gic Air Ser­vices Lim­ited (SASL).

“I spoke to Mr Nata af­ter the meet­ing. I told him that he should be care­ful about what he says dur­ing the party’s pocket meet­ings and that he needs to fo­cus more on is­sues that con­cern the peo­ple,” Ro Filipe said. Dur­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion at Lo­manikoro, Mr Nata ad­vanced friv­o­lous claims about Gov­ern­ment claim­ing their Par­lia­ment mem­bers were cho­sen by Prime Min­is­ter Voreqe Bain­i­marama to be his “lave liga squad” (Hands up squad).

“You have seen what is be­ing done in Fi­jiFirst. The votes did not reach Par­lia­ment. It only reached Bai who then chose his ‘lave liga squad’,” Mr Nata said. “We want to as­sure you that we will pre­serve your votes and en­sure that it reaches Par­lia­ment.”

He also said a rel­a­tive, who is the Min­is­ter for Em­ploy­ment, Pro­duc­tiv­ity and In­dus­trial Re­la­tions Jone Usa­mate, only re­ceived 600 votes.

How­ever, ac­cord­ing to the Fi­jian Elec­tions Of­fice 2014 of­fi­cial re­sults Mr Usa­mate re­ceived 939 votes.

Mr Nata con­tin­ued the at­tack: “He (Mr Usa­mate) is now scared. When he is told to stand up, Jone will stand up. When he is told to sit down, he will sit down. When he is told to wait out­side he will wait out­side. But he is a min­is­ter. “That is why he was voted into Par­lia­ment. Bain­i­marama chose him to go to Par­lia­ment.”

Mr Usa­mate de­clined to com­ment on the so-called claims. How­ever, he did say that those with Fi­jiFirst sup­ported the ideas of the party and fought for the best in­ter­est of all Fi­jians. Mr Nata also urged vil­lagers to vote for SODELPA whom he said would be elected into power and for­mu­late laws to pro­tect na­tive land.

Mr Nata also said when peo­ple were given “free­bies” by the Gov­ern­ment their loy­alty was swayed. “De­vel­op­ments are done for good hous­ing, im­prove stan­dard of liv­ing then they (gov­ern­ment) in­tro­duce things to per­suade you,” he said.

“When you are swayed your vi­sion is blurred and your ears be­come deaf. All that is the gov­ern­ment’s job to pro­vide. Em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­nity, free­bies.”

He said Indo-Fi­jians re­mained loyal to their party of choice de­spite the hand­outs given to them by the Gov­ern­ment.

“The Indo-Fi­jians, no mat­ter how many years since they came they re­main true to the Na­tional Fed­er­a­tion Party, and the Fiji Labour Party,” Mr Nata said. “But for us once we are promised some­thing we jump from party to party. Your loy­alty is swayed be­cause you go where your stom­ach takes you.”

He then urged them to ac­cept what the Gov­ern­ment gave them, but not to let it in­flu­ence their be­liefs. SODELPA pro­vi­sional can­di­date Tanya Waqanika pleaded with those present to get reg­is­tered to vote. She claimed that the Land Use De­cree of 2010 was passed with­out any con­sul­ta­tion adding that it did not give any re­dress to landown­ers.

She also ex­plained the D’Hondt method of elec­toral sys­tem, which cal­cu­lates a five per cent thresh­old from the to­tal num­ber of votes cast.

“496,364 votes were cast in 2014. Five per cent thresh­old is worked from that num­ber, which is 24,880. The party that does not re­ceive 24,880 votes waste their votes this in­cluded the Peo­ple’s Demo­cratic Party, Fiji Labour Party,” she said, adding that the sys­tem was not good for small par­ties and in­de­pen­dent can­di­dates.

“This year we have seen that the num­ber of peo­ple has in­creased so the min­i­mum thresh­old will be be­tween 30,000-31,000.” Ms Waqanika feels this year’s elec­tion is an in­ter­est­ing one with only two top party con­tenders, SODELPA and Fi­jiFirst. Also present yes­ter­day was Nadi pro­vi­sional can­di­date, Jone Kata.

We were elected to lead, not to pan­der, not to fol­low, and not to hold up a wet fin­ger to the wind. So let's lead. Voreqe Bain­i­marama Prime Min­is­ter

Photo: Simione Har­a­vanua

Some of the par­tic­i­pants dur­ing the Suva SODELPA Con­stituency Aware­ness at Lo­manikoro Vil­lage, Rewa, on Septem­ber 15, 2018.

Photo: Simione Har­a­vanua

SODELPA can­di­dates (from left) Jone Kata, Tanya Waqanika and Ro Filipe Tui­sawau dur­ing the Suva SODELPA Con­stituency Aware­ness at Lo­manikoro Vil­lage in Rewa on Septem­ber 15, 2018.

Photo: Simione Har­a­vanua

SODELPA mem­ber Wati­soni Nata at Lo­manikoro Vil­lage, Rewa, on Septem­ber 15, 2018.

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