2022 General Election: Vote for the future of our children – Lata

Ansu Vikashni Lata a candidate for National Federation Party for the upcoming General Election. Picture: SUPPLIED

Ansu Lata entered politics with a simple goal in mind: to bring about change for sound democratic governance and leadership in health, education, human rights and women empowerment.

Eight years on from her first election, the 40-year-old Labasa native is contesting her third election under the National Federation Party (NFP) banner.

With a string of qualifications ranging from a Bachelors to PhD and specialised training acquired from institutions in Fiji, India and Australia, Ms Lata has worked as a researcher, consultant, lecturer and taken on leadership roles in a number of organisations.

Most currently, she is the assistant general secretary of NFP.

Despite her qualifications, Ms Lata noticed firsthand the glaring gender disparity in local politics and how a lack of representation affected those segments of the population that were most vulnerable.

However, this did not deter her from joining politics.

She said a number of citizens were concerned with eliminating gender disparity or inequality, ending domestic violence, raising the quality of education and training for every citizen, promoting healthy living and access to quality medical services and infrastructure.

“We all know how these same issues have been blatantly neglected by the current leadership, and I will stand for the change that is urgently needed by our nation,” she said.

“I intend to be a strong and rational voice for women, underprivileged people, our youth, small businesses, students and those affected by health problems.”

Inspired by leaders like Jacinda Ardern, Indira Gandhi and Jayaram Jayalalithaa, the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Ms Lata said she was often underestimated partly due to being a woman and coming from a humble background.

“Gender and demographic misconceptions, as well as outdated mindsets, have always played against me, and often prevented me from getting media recognition and exposure, as compared to other candidates.

“I believe in letting my actions and credentials speak for themselves, rather than beating my own drums on rooftops. Anyone can claim anything, even without evidence, but that is not my game.

“Those who really know me will realise that my professional and political journeys are of the same calibre, if not higher than a lot of seasoned candidates.”

She urged Fijians to unite and vote as one.

“Fiji is our country, and we must do our duty as proud sons and daughters of this beautiful land. Vote for change, vote for the country’s development, vote for the future of our children.”

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