The National Federation Party has become the first registered political party to formally announce its first batch of candidates to contest the September general elections.
The first batch of candidates includes, women, youth, a lawyer, former politicians, a trade unionist by profession, cane growers’ representatives, social worker and a medical doctor.
The first lot of candidates are as follows:
1. Tupou Draunidalo:
Tupou Draunidalo was elected as the first i-taukei President of the NFP on March 29. She is the second woman president. She brings added strength to the party’s multiracial philosophy and character. Ms Draunidalo successfully completed her Bachelor of Laws Degree at the Australian
National University in Canberra. She was admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory and High Court of Fiji in 1999.
She is also a former vice-president of Fiji Law Society.
2. Prem Singh:
Prem Singh was the lone NFP Member of Parliament elected in the 2001 general elections. He served as the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament from October 201 to September 2002, when he had to vacate his parliamentary Nadi Open Constituency seat due to a High Court of Fiji judgment that nullified his election.
Mr Singh is a prominent resident of Nadi, a social and community worker and a Justice of the Peace. Mr Singh is a member of the NFP Management Board.
3. Bimal B. Prasad aka Bimal Prasad Chaudhry
Bimal Prasad received his primary education at Vashist Muni Primary School, Navua, did his secondary education at Vunimono High School, Nausori before working as a law clerk, clerk in the Opposition and then Government Members Office before teaching at DAV College, Nabua from where he resigned in 2006 to contest the Vitilevu-South/ Kadavu Indian Communal
Constituency seat that year for the NFP. He is presently a law student.
4. Dr Bijend Prasad Ram:
Dr Ram is a practicing medical doctor, a community medicine specialist and consultant in Health Management Educated at the Fiji School of Medicine, Dr. Ram is a Practicing Medical doctor and a Health Management Specialist with over 37 years of service.
5. Seni Leba Nabou
Seni Nabou is a full time Post-Graduate Student in International Relations and Diplomacy at the University of the South Pacific. Prior to this, Seni worked for Greenpeace Australia Pacific based in Suva from August 2006 to March 2014 in various capacities, rising to the position of Pacific Political Advisor and Projects Leader (Oceans Campaign). From November 2002 to April 2005, she worked as Manager Promotions for Fiji Humans Rights Commission. Seni has extensive experience in training, change management, communications, journalism, media and social media.
6. Bala Dass
Bala Dass is a prominent leader of cane growers and is the general secretary of Fiji Cane Growers Association. He has been FCGA’s general secretary since October 2000.
He contested the 2001 and 2006 general elections under the NFP banner. Mr Dass has established sound and harmonious relations with landowners and landowning units and has managed to successfully negotiate the renewal of cane leases throughout the Western Division.
He is a well known resident of Nadi through his social and community work, notably through the Then India Sanmarga Ikya (TISI) Sangam of Fiji.
7. Usaia Cirikiwai Moli
Usaia Cirikiwai Moli is well known for his work with the less fortunate and the youth. His last work was Facilitator for Pacific Centre for Peacebuilding. Mr Moli is an industrious and quick learner that has seen him progress from a farmer, Director at a Youth Hostel for Street Children to a Youth Trainer in youth social empowerment programs since 2004.
His work with young people has allowed him to wrk with local, provincial, national and regional multi-sectoral actors.
8. Raman Pratap Singh
Raman Pratap Singh is the scion of NFP Founder Member and Bua Landlord, the late Ram Jati Singh. He graduated as a lawyer from Auckland, New Zealand and has been in private practice since 1971. In 1985, Ram Singh was elected as a Councillor of the first Sugar Cane Growers Council from the Labasa Sector and was appointed the Director of SCGC Labasa District, a position he held until 1992. In fact, he won in 1985 SCGC elections on the Federation of the Growers under the leadership of the then NFP leader, Hon. S.M. Koya. Raman Singh entered the House of the Representatives as an elected member of the NFP from the Bua Indian Communal Constituency, a seat that he retained in 1994 with 81% of the total votes cast.
9. Parmod Chand
Parmod Chand is the Vice President of NFP. He hails from a prominent Labasa business family and is the managing director of Parmod Enterprises Ltd. Mr Chand is a senior pastor of Pathway Assembly of God Labasa. He served as a Labasa Town Councillor from 1993 to 1999. He as served a number of organisations in various capacities, including Labasa Football Association.
10. Mohamed Rafiq
Mohamed Rafiq is a cane farmer and social worker. He hails from Coqeloa, Labasa. He is a former school teacher, having taught mainly at Naleba College in Labasa. He is a Vice President of Macuata Muslim League. Mr Rafiq is the Vice President of Fiji Cane Growers Association Northern Division and served as FCGA’s Northern Executive Officer for many years until 2009. He also contested the 1999 and 2006 general elections under the NFP baner.
11. Attar Singh
Attar Singh resigned as General Secretary of the Communications, Mining and General Workers Union to contest the elections. He was the general secretary of this union for 10 years. Mr Singh was also the general secretary of the Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions from 2002 to 2014 until he resigned due to the requirements of the Political Parties Decree. Attar was the general secretary of NFP from 1998 to 2002. He led the Party into the 2001 and 2006 general elections. He is also a Trustee of NFP. Mr Singh is an aeronautical engineer and worked for Air Pacific (now Fiji Airways) as aircraft engineer before joining the trade union movement.