FIJI’S RATU FINAU MARA CONSIDERING RESIGNING FROM THE CABINET

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FIJI’S RATU FINAU MARA OFFERS TO RESIGN FROM CABINET

SUVA, Fiji (December 15, 1997 - PACNEWS)---Fijian Affairs Minister Ratu Finau Mara says he wants to resign from the Cabinet after an audit found that he received allowances to which he was not entitled.

Ratu Finau said Sunday night he had decided it was better for him to step aside while an audit investigation into his travel and accommodation allowances is carried out, The Fiji Times reports.

The Fijian Association MP from Lau is among 15 parliamentarians mentioned in the Auditor-General's review on unjustified payment of allowances conducted in October. The special report published in The Fiji Times reveals that Ratu Finau, with a residential address in Suva, collected $1,100 for travel and $4,300 for accommodations.

Ratu Finau was expected to officially inform Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka of his resignation Monday.

The National Federation Party has reacted angrily to the publishing of parliamentary allowances, saying the revelation was irresponsible.

The NFP was reacting to the report of payments of more than $113,000 to some members in allowances to which they were not entitled.,

Fiji Labour Party parliamentary leader Mahendra Chaudhry has called on the MPs cited in the report to explain their positions.

The audit report also revealed that parliamentarians drank yagona (kava) worth $4,150 between February and October of this year for which there was no budgetary provision,.

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