Coup Convict Looks For New Beginning in Fiji
Coup Convict Looks For New Beginning After Election
By Sakiasi Nawaikama
LABASA, Fiji: (Wansolwara Online/Pacific Media Watch): Former journalist and coup convict Josefa Dimuri has put the past behind him and is prepared to serve the people after beating seven other candidates to win the Bua Macuata West Open seat in Fiji's general election.
Dimuri, a former Minister for Information, was convicted and sentenced for unlawfully assembling at the Vaturekuka army barracks in Labasa during the height of the 2000 coup.
"For me personally, it has not been easy. The past years have been challenging and I have gone through the ups and downs of politics," said Dimuri.
Dimuri was charged along with Tui Cakau and re-elected Member of Parliament Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu.
"It¹s been a really humbling experience and I¹m really encouraged by the confidence of the people in me and the [Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua] Party.
"I think it was well indicated by the results, but it was not an easy one. The other seven candidates ganged up against me. And the voters also understood that I had to win on the first count because the preferences wouldn¹t go my way.¹"
Dimuri polled 8810 to earn the absolute majority to win the seat previously held by SDL candidate Isireli Tuvuki.
There are a total of 18,237 registered voters in the constituency. There were 15,270 votes cast with 1297 invalid votes.
The Bua Macuata West Open constituency is the biggest in the north in terms of land mass and population.
Dimuri was Minister for Information in Sitiveni Rabuka¹s cabinet until 1999 when the ruling Soqosoqo Vakavulewa ni Taukei party lost the general election in a landslide win by the Fiji Labour Party.
PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH