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Public consultation is not a vote buying exercise: Government

April 17, 2018 1:16 am

Strong claims of the youth public consultations being a vote buying exercise were made by Opposition MP Niko Nawaikula in parliament this morning.

Nawaikula claims this is evident in the nature of the consultations.

“The consultation to school children is a vote buying exercise, especially when the Minister attends the sessions himself. What the Minister should do is allow the consultations to be driven by the Permanent Secretaries and teachers. Instead of the Minister going directly.”

These claims were immediately rubbished by Economy Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, who says the ideologies of Nawaikula encapsulates the thinking of the Opposition.

Sayed-Khaiyum says the Opposition doesn’t respect or understand the value of our youth, who are the future of this country.

“They talk about democracy all the time not knowing what it means. This is part and parcel of a democratic process where you empower all members of the society. This age old thinking in Fiji that only the elderly people should be making the decision should be swept away. We believe that our youth should be making the decision.”

Sayed-Khaiyum cleared the Opposition’s confusion by stating the youth public consultations are conducted in order to empower them.

He adds 70% of the Fijian population is below the age of 40, hence, the youth of the country need empowerment.