2022 General Election: Military’s role needs change – Chaudhary

Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudary at his office in Laucala bay. Picture: RAMA

The military’s role has to be changed so they become a part of society by being involved in a lot of work that needs to be done.

Fiji Labour Party (FLP) leader Mahendra Chaudhary said this while responding to a question at a party campaign in Muanikoso Village recently.

A resident raised the point that the military budget allocation was too high and suggested that the allocation could be better used in other sectors of the economy.

“My question is related to the size and the structure of the military and the funds that go to the military,” the resident asked.

“When FijiFirst came into power, the military allocation increased, it could’ve been better utilised in health care or poverty alleviation.”

The resident said while he understood the military participated in peacekeeping missions, Fiji was not at war with another country and wished to know what FLP would do if they are elected.

Responding to the question, Chaudhary suggested that the role of the military needed to be changed.

He added that they would deploy the military better so they could contribute to civilian matters.

“One is to clear our waterways, we can use them in civilian matters, we can retain the number but utilise them better.”

He added in terms of peacekeeping matters, his government would negotiate with the United Nations for proper reimbursement for peacekeeping activities by Fijians.

“At the moment we have to bear part of the cost, we are not getting the full reimbursement from the UN. That we have to try to negotiate so that the cost can be reduced.”

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