Former Prime Minister and Fiji Labour Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has told the National Federation Party to stick to the facts and not descend to gutter politics when debating issues.
He in a statement said the baseless personal attack by NFP is simply an attempt to divert attention away from the shortcomings of Finance Minister Prof Biman Prasad.
“It does not settle the points I have been making that the Minister appears to be “lost in the woods”. I am not the only one saying that. It is also coming from well-placed people in the community,” Chaudhry said.
“For instance, it is ridiculous for a Finance Minister to ask: Where is the money? In a media report as I responded then it is his job to find the money to address issues facing the nation?”
“He knew even as he was making his election promises that the country had a $10b debt, and that our infrastructure was badly run down. So, were the promises just to get votes?”
“He should be talking about these promises instead of getting his Party secretary to mount baseless attacks on me. Nonetheless, a response is necessary to set the record right.”
“The independent committee that examined my tax records in 2008 cleared me of any wrong doing. I reiterate I have not been prosecuted for any tax offences.”
“I have always held that my prosecution on exchange control charges was politically motivated and had no basis in law. That is where the matter rests for me.”
“In terms of Bainimarama’s leave pay: It is an outright lie that I approved the $184,000 leave pay for Commander Bainimarama in 2007.”
“The matter did not go through the Finance Ministry. It was paid from RFMF funds based on a paper prepared by the former AG seeking the President’s consent which was given under the powers he had at the time.”
“Ms Nabou is scratching the bottom of the barrel when she questions my record of financial prudence and management. The people know the truth and that’s good enough for me,” he added.