Fiji Parliament To Meet For Only 4 Weeks In 2016

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Opposition presses for longer sittings or reduced pay

By Reginald Chandar

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, July 9, 2015) – The Fijian Parliament will have a reduced four week sitting schedule in 2016.

The sessions will take place in February, April, June and August.

A motion on this by Leader of Government, Inia Seruiratu was passed after a long and heated debate in the house with Opposition giving various reasons why they need more than four weeks to sit in a year.

Minister Seruiratu while presenting his motion said the reduction in the number of sittings will allow members to plan better and attend to other honourable duties.

Opposition MP, Prem Singh requested to amend the motion by including sittings in March, June and July and his amended motion was also put on the floor for debate.

Opposition MP Niko Nawaikula in his debate stated that members should also get reduced pay if they are to meet only for only four weeks in a year while Tupou Draunidalo said that since the Fijian Parliament is new, members needed to spend more time to do their work.

Opposition Leader, Ro Teimumu Kepa, Mosese Bulitavu and Viliame Gavoka also debated against the motion while Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Ashneel Sudhakar, Dr Mahendra Reddy and Government Whip Semi Semi Koroilavesau spoke in support of the original motion.

The amended motion was defeated as 29 members voted against, 14 voted in support and 7 did not vote while the original motion gathered 29 votes in favour, 14 against and 7 members did not vote.

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