Former Fiji leader Bainimarama’s political party FijiFirst deregistered

Fiji’s political parties registrar says FijiFirst – the country’s largest political party in Parliament – has been officially deregistered.

Former prime minister Frank Bainimarama’s party has 14 days to appeal the decision or the “winding-up” process kicks in.

In a statement on Monday, the Fijian Elections Office said the registrar of political parties Ana Mataiciwa deregistered FijiFirst in accordance with section 12 (4) of the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding & Disclosures) Act 2013.

“On Thursday 30 May 2024, FijiFirst was notified to amend its constitution to include provisions required under Schedule 2 of the Act.

“The party was given until 4pm on Friday 28 June 2024, to make the necessary amendments. As the party has not complied with

this requirement, FijiFirst is hereby deregistered effective immediately,” Mataiciwa said via the statement.

Fiji First leader Frank Bainimarama is vying for a second term as an elected leader. The number 688 is his number of the ballot paper, on which names and party logos aren't shown.

The deregistration means FijiFirst cannot operate in an capacity as a political party.

Mataiciwa said according to the political parties act, any person unhappy about the decision may appeal to the Electoral Commission within14 days from the date of this decision.

“If no appeal is lodged with the Electoral Commission of Fiji by the end of the 14-day appeal period, the Registrar will commence the winding-up process as per section 28(1) of the Act,” she said.

All 26 FijiFirst MPs and the Speaker of Parliament Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu have been notified of the decision, according the statement by the elections office.

Meanwhile, the opposition leader Inia Seruiratu – who has been a core member of the FijiFirst party and government – told local media “deregistration is least of their worries”, according to The Fiji Times’ report.

Last week, NZ-based Fijian academic, Distinguished Professor Steven Ratuva, told RNZ Pacific the party’s deregistration would make Fiji’s political landscape “complex”.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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