Unite, Fiji is worth every ounce of effort and sacrifice: Rabuka

Former Fiji Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka rallied support for a united front in countering challenges the country “has never encountered before” including in politics, open to bipartisanship underlined by their announcement today to continue such efforts with the National Federation Party ahead of the 2022 General Elections.

Speaking to a spill-over crowd that included former Fiji First parliamentarian Balmindar Singh, former NFP candidates Rosie Langi, Charan Jeath Singh and Sadavisan Naicker at the party’s assembly held at Vunimono Hall in Nausori today, the People’s Alliance Party leader said such an approach is “especially important when a country is gripped, as Fiji is, by severe problems.”

“We need a united effort to take the country forward. Always we must be inspired by the conviction that this nation of ours is worth every ounce of effort we invest, every sacrifice we make,” Rabuka said. “We believe in finding common ground and consensus between parties in line with power-sharing,” Rabuka said.

“We [PAP and NFP] will be seen more and more together as we traverse the islands and roads of our land to spread a message of peace, stability, prosperity, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and respect for the rule of law. On People’s Alliance side, we are satisfied we are compatible, and that we hold similar values and dreams.

“The arrangement with the NFP will transform the political landscape of our country and will restore the cordial relationships of our ethnically diverse country into a great nation under God. It will be good for the PAP, the NFP and Fiji, as an example of unity and inclusivity in action.”

Rabuka also spoke at length about issues that Fijians have had to contend with including poverty, health, the sugar industry, landowners’ welfare, infrastructure, including the disciplinary forces, but was not in a position to elaborate on how the party intended to resolve these areas saying it will be guided by its manifesto which will entail costings as required by law.

The party intends to launch its manifesto on 26 April coinciding with the start of the campaign period for the 2022 General Elections.

“A team of party members is engaged [in] drafting the manifesto. It will cover the spectrum of government activity and the national need, with a focus on broadening the economy,” Rabuka said.

“We must reduce excessive dependence on tourism, generate new jobs and lift people out of poverty. This binds us to encourage individual enterprise and the pursuit of excellence, protecting human rights, civil liberties, and freedom of expression without persecution. It commits us to holding taxation to minimum levels, developing new industries and integrating e-commerce into all facets of business.”

Also on the agenda for the assembly, the party’s first since its launch in Nawaka village, Nadi five months ago, is the adoption of its constitution, selection of office-bearers, and presentation of reports from their divisional reps.

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