16 Jan 2017

Six Fiji groups vie to become parties

9:12 am on 16 January 2017

Six groups in Fiji have applied to register as political parties ahead of elections scheduled for next year.

Peter Waqavonovono

Peter Waqavonovono Photo: 350.org

The Fiji Times reports that this includes the proposed HOPE party, created by the youth activist Peter Waqavonovono and former opposition leader Mick Beddoes, who both defected from the main opposition Sodelpa party.

Under the Political Parties Decree, which was introduced ahead of the 2014 election - the first since Frank Bainimarama's 2006 coup - the registration process is a long and arduous one.

An application needs to be accompanied by a schedule setting out the details of at least 5,000 members of the proposed party from across Fiji's four divisions.

They must then be vetted by the elections office and the Registrar of Political Parties, Mohammed Saneem.

Until then, a group is not allowed to operate as, or hold itself to be, a political party until the application has been approved.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs