FEO Seeks Clarification On MoU | Fiji Sun
FEO Seeks Clarification On MoU
- People’s Democratic Party Suspended The Registrar of Political Parties has suspended the People’s Democratic Party [PDP] effective 28 December 2017 for 30 days. Following the resignation of Lynda Tabuya, the PDP was required under section 11 of the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding & Disclosures) Act, 2013 [ACT] to update the Register of Political Parties and this has not been done till to-date. “Under the legal framework, the Registered Officer of the Party is the key contact and liaison with the Fijian Elections Office and the PDP has failed and/or neglected to appoint a suitable person as per section 11 since 21 December when Lynda Tabuya resigned” explained Mohammed Saneem, Registrar of Political Parties. The PDP has 60 days under the Act to remedy the breach and the suspension will be immediately uplifted following the remedy.
- Memorandum of Understanding signed between PDP and SODELPA : The Supervisor of Elections has also sought certified copies of the Memorandum of Understanding that was signed on 9 December 2017 by Lynda Tabuya of PDP and Sitiveni Rabuka of SODEPLA. “It has become necessary to verify if the Agreement purportedly merges both SODELPA and the PDP and if it does so, the Act prescribes certain procedural requirements that both parties were required to follow. And since the FEO has not received any particulars as at the date of the press release, some deadlines as per the Act may have been exceeded.” Both SODELPA and PDP have 7 days within which to furnish the FEO with the certified copies.
- Clarification on Legal Framework The FEO would also like to clarify the legal framework around resignation from Political Parties: 1. Resignation from Political Party: Resignation from political party 15.—(1) A member of a political party who intends to resign from the political party shall give a written notice prior to his or her resignation to— (a) the political party; and (b) the Registrar. (2) The resignation of the member of the political party shall take effect upon receipt of such notice by the Registrar. (3) A person shall not be a member or an office holder of more than one proposed political party or political party registered under this Act at the same time. (4) Any person who applies to become or becomes a member or an office holder of more than one proposed political party or political party registered under this Act, commits an offence and shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years or to both. (5) A member of a political party may only be expelled from that political party if the member has infringed the constitution of the political party and after the member has been afforded a fair opportunity to be heard in accordance with the internal party disputes resolution mechanisms as prescribed in the constitution of the political party. The FEO confirms having receipt of resignation letters from Lynda Tabuya on 21 December 2017 and from Vijay Singh on 22 December 2017. During the press conference on 09 December 2017, Mr. Sitiveni Rabuka had congratulated and welcomed Mr. Vijay Singh as the newly elected Vice President of SODELPA. The Supervisor of Elections has this afternoon referred a complaint to FICAC in relation to the possible contravention of section 15(3) of the Act by Mr. Vijay Singh.
- Constitution and Rules of Political Parties : The FEO further clarifies that Political Parties are at full liberty to operate under the legal framework in place. Political Parties must adhere to the laws that are in place and align their activities accordingly. There are no restrictions in the formation of coalitions except those that parties have placed in their own Party Constitutions. It is inaccurate to state that the legal framework prohibits Coalitions. Upon receipt of the Memorandum of Understanding, the FEO will be able to establish if both parties had complied with their own Party Constitutions prior to the signing event.
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