21st November 03:06 AM
NFP to change law to allow trade unionists to contest
By Semi Turaga
Friday 09/11/2018
National Federation Party candidate Attar Singh FijiFirst candidate and Minister for Employment Jone Usamate on Straight Talk last night

National Federation Party candidate Attar Singh says they will see how the part of the law that does not allow trade unionists to contest the general elections can be changed but FijiFirst candidate and Minister for Employment Jone Usamate says the law is about transparency as trade unionists have the opportunity to get the influence of the trade union to go together with their political affiliation.

The two candidates faced off on this issue on Straight Talk with Vijay Narayan last night.

Singh says it is an unfair law as trade unionists are workers’ leaders and they should be able to take workers concerns to the highest level which is parliament.

Usamate says trade unionists are public officers and it is only fair that they resign if they want to contest the general elections but NFP’s Attar Singh says trade unionists are not public officers.

Under the Political Parties Act, a public officer shall not be eligible to be an applicant or a member of a political party, shall not be an office holder of the party, may not engage in political activity that may compromise or be seen to compromise the political neutrality of that person’s office or may not publicly indicate support for or opposition to any political party

Trade unionists are also public officers under the Political Parties Act and they cannot be members and officials of a political party.

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