Fiji Elections publishes parties’ financials with two in the red

Fiji’s Election Office has published financial statements for all seven political parties for the financial year 2021, with all but two parties recording a profit.

The governing FijiFirst party, National Federation Party, Fiji Labour Party, Freedom Alliance, and People’s Alliance recorded a surplus, except Fiji’s main opposition party SODELPA and Unity Fiji.

SODELPA’s finances were in the red, having recorded a loss of nearly $150,000 on the back of reduced revenue and increased expenses as opposed to a profit of nearly 25,000 in 2020. Revenue dropped by 12 per cent to $426,692 in 2021, the most significant being the 50 per cent reduction in MP levy which was partly offset by almost doubled the donations in 2021 and revenue garnered from the sale of merchandise. However, that was not enough to cover expenses, an increase of nearly 35 per cent compared to 2020, much of it on the back of the combined result of the increase in legal fees by nearly 30 times from $2000 in 2020 to $59,503 in 2021; and increased spending in awareness from $5,396 to $51,264 in 2021.

Unity Fiji recorded a loss of $10,902 at the end of the year 2021 compared to a loss of $4,042 in 2020. The party’s revenue was derived entirely from donations of $27,091, up from $22,841 in 2020, but it was not enough to cover increased expenses in 2021 at $37,993. A considerable amount went towards allowances, increasing by nearly four times more, from $1,835 in 2020 to $7,260 in 2021. There was also increased spending on fundraising events, office expenses, and $1,493 covered traveling which was not in the books in 2020.

FijiFirst, on the other hand, logged a profit of $146,729, up by more than 60 per cent from 2020 despite a drop in revenue from $466,712 to $443,278, much of it because of reduced donations from $61K to $30K. Despite that, the party made a profit still, on the back of reduced spending. Spending dropped by 21 per cent, owing to 99 per cent reduction in legal fees – down to $218 from $73,210. At the end of the financial year, the party’s balance stood at $631,11 compared to $484,390 in 2020.

NFP also recorded a surplus, of $2,822, with revenue exceeding expenses as opposed to 2020 which resulted in a loss of $797. Expenses increased in 2021, much of it spent on advertisements and sundry expenses, but they were not too much to surpass revenue. Party revenue was buoyed by a 48 per cent increase in donations in 2021 compared to $43,019 in 2020.

Also in the clear was FLP, but with a reduced profit of $465, from $1,387 in 2020 as a combined result of reduced revenue and reduced expenses. Revenue dropped by 24 per cent largely due to the absence of levy and was accounted for in part by increased donations of $18,000 compared to $500 in 2020.

Freedom Alliance recorded a surplus of $544 compared to a loss of $136 the previous year. However, at the end of the financial year had only $44 left having offset a loss of $500 – the combined result of the $136 loss posted in 2020 and $364 accumulated from previous years.

The newest party in the line-up to contest the 2022 General Elections, the People’s Alliance posted a profit of $11,246 after having accounted for expenses amounting to $65,147 with total revenue of $76,393. Majority of the party’s spending was on allowances of $20,282, a spend of $11,373 went towards party leader awareness, and more than $9000 was spent on the party’s launch.

Meanwhile, the publication of the parties’ financials is in line with section 26(2A) of the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosures) Act 2013.

Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem said amendments to the law in 2021 allowed the registrar of political parties to publish the audited accounts of political parties on the FEO website.

“The Act requires that accounts of every political party are to be audited annually by an auditor certified by the Fiji Institute of Accountants and submitted to the Registrar within three (3) months after the end of each financial year,” Saneem said.

The political party accounts can be accessed on:

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