Thirty-seven-year-old Navinesh Reddy could have joined an existing political party but decided to run as an independent in Fiji’s 2022 General Election to avoid a situation where his values, beliefs, and faith are questioned or put in a situation where he is forced to follow a mandate that he does not agree with.
Speaking to local media after having submitted his application today to contest as an independent candidate in the 14 December polls, the businessman and electrical engineer said: “People talk a lot about change, but I have a different concept of change. If you want to achieve something, you want to do good, you want to serve the people of this country, then be here, I believe that if there is something that you want to do in life, if there is something that you want to achieve, then you have to be the change.”
Born and bred in Lautoka before moving to Nadi less than ten years ago, Mr. Reddy said he is keenly awaiting approval from the Fijian Elections Office regarding his application to be able to talk about issues he wants to advocate and meet with the people, to find out what is happening in their lives as well as bring about the changes that they need.
“Let’s see what the result is and we can take it from there. I think I wanted to do it more of my passion and interest in politics, and then at the same time, I felt that this is the best road for me to have that experience to start from scratch, and then go and meet with people and personally talk to them.
“I believe in education, and I want to be able to present myself to the public in a way where they are able to relate to me. Right now I am on the bridge, and not on the other side. I have to get the approval, so I can boldly and confidently talk about the issues, the current issues we have, and what I will be able to do about all of that.”
Mr. Reddy is the second to submit his application to contest as an independent following Mr. Rajendra Prasad Sharma who is one of six candidates approved by the FEO to date. The other five are New Generation Party candidates.