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Fijian PM's Fiji First party officially registered

SUVA, May 30 (Xinhua) -- Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama's Fiji First became a registered political party on Friday after complying with the provisions of the relevant laws and regulations, the government-owned Fiji Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) reported.

Bainimarama submitted 40,083 signatures of members, which far exceeded the minimum requirement of 5,000 in line with the country 's Political Parties Registration Decree, to Mohammed Saneem, supervisor of elections and registrar of political parties, on May 5, and the registration process, which took more than 20 days, was completed Friday.

As party leader, Bainimarama, who was on official duties overseas, said he's glad to receive the news and he will launch the party when he returns to Fiji, according to the FBC.

Fiji First is a national movement dedicated to the service of the nation and to the advancement of the well being of all her people, said Bainimarama.

The party's president is Jiko Luveni, Fiji's minister for women and poverty alleviation, while Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed- Khaiyum serves as the party's general secretary.

To date, other registered parties in the South Pacific island country include Social Democratic Liberal Party, the National Federation Party, the Fiji Labor Party and the People's Democratic Party.

The Fijian government, which came to power after the 2006 coup led by Bainimarama, has announced that the country's general election will be held on September 17, a Wednesday that will be a paid public holiday.

Bainimarama resigned as commander of Fiji's military forces on March 5. After the naval officer's resignation from the military, Fijian President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau announced that in recognition of Bainimarama's 39 years of distinguished service in the military and contribution to the country, his rank has been promoted from commodore to rear admiral.

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