Tora Threatens Voters
Issue No: 903 2 July 2001
The Qarase regime's Agriculture Minister and suspected terrorist, Apisai Tora has threatened the country's ethnic Indians with non-renewal of land leases if they voted for the Fiji Labour Party.
The threats came last week after a meeting which Tora and the NFP backed Sugar Cane Growers Council had on land leases. The National Farmers Union councillors, who form a majority of the elected councillors on the Sugar Cane Growers Council, boycotted the meeting.
The National Farmers Union and the Fiji Labour Party have both called for an investigation of Tora, both for the inflammatory statements and breach of public order act, as well as for his involvement in last year's terrorism.
The Union stated: "Tora is threatening the [ethnic] Indian community not to vote for Labour because if they do, then their lands would be taken back by the landowners. This is inciting fear and anxiety among the Indo-Fijian population and should not be allowed to continue."
The Union also stated: "The People's Coalition Government did not forfeit its mandate to govern but was illegally removed from serving its full term. It seems Tora is terrified of the support that Chaudhry and his Labour Party command".
Last week Labour's President Mrs Jokapeci Koroi also hit out at Tora and called for investigations in Tora's conduct. She stated: 'This man played a leading role in the 1987 coup and again in the instability that led to last year's coup. He should have been behind bars and not walking freely continuing to threaten national stability and intimidating the voters of this country. The FLP led People's Coalition Government did more for the ordinary Fijians than Apisai Tora has done in the past 40 years of his political career."
The Police Department has ignored the calls for investigation of Tora.
Police Commissioner Isikia Savua and Tora are related through marriage. Their wives are sisters.
Meanwhile, Tora's new political party, the Bai Kai Viti has stated that it is discussing a possible coalition arrangement with the National Federation Party.