Different views over NFP’s permit rejection

Fiji Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro. Picture: FT FILE

THE Fiji Police Force and the National Federation Party are at loggerheads over the circumstances that led to the rejection of the party’s application for a permit to march today.

The police are insisting the application was rejected because the party failed to provide them with the required documents.

Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro said police had notified NFP through the Divisional Police Commander Southern last Wednesday, the day the application was received.

She claimed the DPC Southern continued to remind the NFP until Monday this week about the documents that were required by police.

NFP general secretary Seni Nabou claimed yesterday this was not true.

“We had submitted everything and they had told us to submit a form,” she said.

The Fiji Roads Authority said it received the NFP’s application to march through Suva City last Wednesday and were liaising with the political party from last Thursday since they had already approved other groups to march on the same day (Fiji Day).

“The FRA had no objection, and we had advised NFP to either change their route or time for their march,” FRA said.

The FRA explained it took five days to process applications and some of the issues that were usually considered were the scheduled time of a proposed march, the route, the number of participants, and the authority also had to cross-check for clashes from other applicants.

“Based on the assessment of an application (as mentioned above), however, we try to accommodate requests for groups wanting to march on the same day.”

Meanwhile, Section 8 (3) of the Public Order Act provides that: “Every application for a permit under the provisions of this section shall be made in writing to the appropriate authority at least seven days, or within such lesser time as he may specify in any particular case, prior to the date on which it is proposed to organise or convene a meeting or procession.”

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