Fiji Police reject NFP application to march; Party “disgusted by the decision”

National Federation Party general secretary Seni Nabou speaking during a political parties panel discussion and public forum. She is flanked by former prime ministers Mahendra Chaudhry and Laisenia Qarase. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA/FT FILE

THE National Federation Party says the conflicting messages received in relation to an application for a march through Suva on Thursday was confusing.

Party general secretary Seni Nabou said the Fiji Roads Authority had given the application a green light provided that the permit was approved by police.

Police, on the other hand, said the permit had been rejected because the NFP had not submitted clearance letters from the FRA and the Suva City Council.

The FRA said in a letter it “has no objection to this request” provided “an approval was obtained from the Fiji Police Force prior to the event”.

“The Fiji Police will be responsible for general traffic management needed to facilitate this event as well as the safety of participants and the general public,” CEO Jonathan Moore said as he outlined the conditions for the permit in a letter to the NFP.

However, in response to queries from The Fiji Times, police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro said the permit was rejected because “the party failed to provide the required documents from Fiji Roads Authority and the Suva City Council”.

Ms Nabou said the Fiji Police Force’s reason for refusing the permit was “grossly erroneous”.

In a letter addressed to Commissioner of Police Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho yesterday, she said the party was “disgusted by the decision”.

She claimed the NFP had not received anything from police requesting “required documents” as stated in a media report.

“Indeed, Fiji Roads Authority has been communicating to the NFP through me, seeking us to delay the start of the march by an hour to prevent it from clashing with the pre-scheduled march by a religious group.

“We communicated to FRA of our agreement to FRA’s request to delay the start of our march from Rodwell Rd by an hour from 10am to 11am.

“In case you didn’t know, a copy of a letter to FRA requesting permission from them to use the route from Rodwell Rd to Constitution Ave was attached to the permit application submitted to DPC Southern.”

Questions sent to Ms Naisoro on the claims made by Ms Nabou remained unanswered as of last night.

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