Politics

Tonga: Three contenders for prime minister’s job

There are now three people shaping up to contest for the Tonga prime ministership. Tongans went to the polls last month and elected an all-male parliament, with nine new faces coming in via the 17...

Solomon Islands: Sogavare defeats no confidence motion

The Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sogavare has defeated a motion of no confidence by 32 votes to 15 with two abstentions. It was moved by the leader of the opposition Matthew Wale after major political unrest in the capital last month saw three days of rioting, looting and burning of businesses and properties in Honiara. During...

6th December

A-G makes soliciting claim

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said he was contacted by a relative of Opposition parliamentarian Inosi Kuridrani who said the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) MP was using his car to collect signatures for Sitiveni Rabuka’s The People’s Alliance party. He made the comment in Parliament yesterday in response to last week’s Parliament opening address by President...

Waqainabete: ‘Your party leadership is your prerogative’

Fijian Health and Medical Services Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete has defended his political party’s position in the appointment of its party president saying the appointment is their prerogative. Dr Waqainabete made the rebuttal in response to comments made in Parliament regarding the appointment of the FijiFirst Party president. He told Parliament that whoever Prime Minister...

Waqanika urges ministry to ‘tread carefully’ with teaching qualification issue

SODELPA MP Tanya Waqanika says while she agrees teachers need to upskill, one simply cannot compare substitute experience with the qualification of a fresh Degree holder who has never worked before. She made the comment in Parliament last Thursday in her contribution to the debate on the President’s speech. “If there is a profession that...

5th December

Maharaj blames members’ ego for fractions within the party

The ego and self-pride within members of the Social Democratic Liberal Party is responsible for the number of fractions within the political party, says FijiFirst party member Alvick Maharaj. Responding to President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere’s maiden statement in Parliament this week, Mr Maharaj said even though SODELPA was not in power, their hunger for power was evident. Mr Maharaj...

Under Rabuka’s watch ‘corruption reigned’

Under former prime minister Sitiveni Rabuka’s watch, “repugnant and rampant corruption reigned” that saw the demise of the National Bank of Fiji. Infrastructure, Meteorological Services, Lands and Mineral Resources Minister Jone Usamate said this in the House this week in his response to last week’s Parliament opening address by President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere. Mr Usamate said Ratu Wiliame...

Longing for true democracy: ‘FijiFirst failed to consult people

The Fijian people yearn for true and genuine democracy and they are eager, willing and ready to participate, promote democratic processes, says Social Democratic Liberal Party member Salote Radrodro. She blamed the FijiFirst Government for failing to consult the people and deliberately denying the people of Fiji that opportunity to participate in nurturing and promoting democracy. Responding to the...

Delegates call for legal action against Saneem

The Fiji Labour Party delegates conference in Lautoka yesterday passed a resolution calling for the removal of Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem from the position. The delegates also resolved the party take legal action on this matter if the Constitutional Offices Commission (CoC) fails to investigate Mr Saneem. The resolution states the CoC to appoint...

4th December

Bainimarama lambasts Opposition

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama lambasted the Opposition for failing to take heed of President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere’s unambiguous challenge for Parliament “to show leadership that inspired confidence and furthered the cause of equality”. “From day one of this session, the Opposition has stumbled over that bar of expectation, they’ve fallen face first into their...

‘Pandemic poses new challenge for State’

The COVID-19 global pandemic posed a new challenge to governmental decision-making, not only for this FijiFirst Government but for many other democratically-elected governments around the world, says Assistant Minister for Health Alexander O’Connor. “With a great level of uncertainty regarding the roots, spread, prevention and effects of the pandemic and with scientific insights and recommendations changing...

A-G: We have diversified the economy

No other government has diversified Fiji’s economy like we have done, says Attorney-General and Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. He said this in the House this week in response to last week’s Parliament opening address by President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere. “Obviously, we have been diversifying the economy, if you look at the statistics, the diversification of...

‘What will they do in power’

If they are backstabbing each other now, what will they do if they ever get into power? This was the question put to the House this week by Infrastructure, Meteorological Services, Lands and Mineral Resources Minister Jone Usamate in reference to the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA). He made the comment in his response to last...

‘Superstar-type ideology, method’

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama took a few parliamentarians who managed less than 1000 votes into Parliament because elections held under the 2013 Constitution “uses the superstar-type of ideology and methodology where one person collects the votes and takes everyone in”. This, according to Opposition parliamentarian Ro Filipe Tuisawau in his response to last week’s Parliament opening address by...

SODELPA has nothing to offer – PM Bainimarama

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) has nothing to offer Fiji in terms of leadership and party leader Viliame Gavoka “is sitting on top of a collapsing house of cards”. In his right of reply yesterday to President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere’s Parliament opening speech, the PM said the Opposition...

Role of Fijian military queried

Fijian Opposition parliamentarian Pio Tikoduadua has called for a national dialogue in relation to the Republic of Fiji Military Forces’ role under Section 131 (2) of the 2013 Constitution. Section 131 (2) says “It shall be the overall responsibility of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces to ensure at all times the security, defence and wellbeing of...

3rd December

70pc disaster readiness achieved, says Nath

Government and its stakeholders have achieved 70 per cent state of disaster readiness to respond to an event, says Assistant Minister for Disaster Management Vijay Nath. Referring to the conduct of the national operational readiness check, he told Parliament Government continued preparation activities with NGOs to ensure a full 100 per cent readiness was achieved....

COVID-19 also disrupts teaching, learning for students – MP

President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere has to be made aware that in addition to economic and social disruptions, the COVID-19 pandemic also disrupted teaching and learning for students through periodic closures of schools around Fiji. SODELPA member of Parliament Simione Rasova told Parliament unless teaching and learning loss was recovered, the pandemic would exacerbate the existing...

Maharaj hails bold vax action

If Fiji had not taken the bold action of the “No jab, no job” decision, the country would still have been struggling in trying to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Government backbencher Alvick Maharaj made the comment in Parliament this week in response to the President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere’s maiden speech. He said...

‘System ensures proportionality’

Fiji’s political system is designed to ensure proportionality so the party that wins the most votes gets the most seats in Parliament to ensure that the people’s wish of who to lead them becomes a reality. This, according to Infrastructure, Meteorological Services, Lands and Mineral Resources Minister Jone Usamate. “Our political system encourages all politicians...

Seruiratu: Climate change is a matter of national security

Climate change is a matter of national security so any responsible leader would understand that COP26 is a conference where we must make our voices heard among big global emitters. Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Fiji’s COP23 climate champion Inia Seruiratu said this while speaking in Parliament this week. Mr Seruiratu told Parliament...

Radrodro quizzes recruitment of expatriate permanent secretaries

Government’s civil service reform has seen a big recruitment of foreign nationals as expatriate permanent secretaries or CEOs, says Social Democratic Liberal Party member Salote Radrodro. Speaking in Parliament, she said most of these expatriates resigned from the positions a short period after taking on the job. Ms Radrodro said they did this citing various...

‘What is the return on investment’

The Tuvalu minister who held a news conference from the middle of the lagoon in Tuvalu made headlines and made more tract than Fiji with international partners and the media such as BBC and CNN, says Opposition parliamentarian Ro Filipe Tuisawau. He made the comment in the House on Wednesday in response to last week’s...

2006 were the beginnings of rectifying the forces – Usamate

The events of 2006 were the beginnings of rectifying the forces that led to problems in the past, says Infrastructure, Meteorological Services, Lands and Mineral Resources Minister Jone Usamate. “That is what 2006 stands for,” he said in the House yesterday in his response to last week’s Parliament opening address by President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere....

Tuisawau: Voters are frustrated with FijiFirst

Government lost a lot of support in relation to Bill 17 and this will show in the votes in the 2022 election, says Opposition MP Ro Filipe Tuisawau. He made the comment in his response to last week’s Parliament opening address by President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere. “Consultation with voters demonstrates inclusiveness, responsiveness and encourages confidence...

1st December

Call for Opposition not to politicise climate change and COVID-19 issues

Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu has called on the Opposition not to politicise climate change  and COVID-19 issues as it concerned people’s lives. Speaking in response to the Presidential speech for the opening of the new session of Parliament, Mr Seruiratu said the Opposition needed to “understand this”. “As...

Ratu Suliano: Government failed to address the dispersion of food

Thousands of jobless people in Navua, Vunidawa and Korovou would have starved to death under the nose of Government if it had not been for the support of families abroad and local good Samaritans. Responding to the President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere’s maiden statement in Parliament yesterday, Opposition MP Ratu Suliano Matanitobua said Government failed to...

SODELPA a house in bad shape, says Kumar

SODELPA is a house that spends more time in the courts, social media and all other platforms fighting each other than fighting for a cause or issue. Employment Minister Parveen Kumar told Parliament SODELPA was a very good example of a bad house. “A house in a bad shape with no foundation,” he said. “With...

MP mocks past government leaders

FijiFirst party member, Alvick Maharaj mocked the leadership of past government leaders and questioned their vision for Fiji, just one day after Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama apologised to all Fijians on the behaviour of all parliamentarians. Responding to the President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere’s maiden statement in Parliament yesterday, Mr Maharaj said the seed for success...

MP: Respect media freedom

National Federation Party leader Biman Prasad yesterday urged the Assistant Minister for i-Taukei Affairs to try and respect what was left of free speech and media freedom in Fiji. While speaking in Parliament yesterday, he said Government’s “media decree was already bad enough”. He said the Assistant Minister, Selai Adimaitoga, had criticised The Fiji Times,...

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