Opposition MP Apologizes To Fiji Parliament, People

Privileges Committee recommends Ratu Isoa be suspended from Parliament over comments

By Nasik Swami

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Sept. 29, 2016) – Opposition Whip Ratu Isoa Tikoca apologised to the people of Fiji and the members of Parliament if he hurt them while delivering any of his speeches in Parliament.

Ratu Isoa, who has a pending matter before the Parliament's Privileges Committee, apologised after standing on a point of order yesterday.

"Madam Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity express a few of my concerns to the House," he said.

"Madam Speaker, if at any time I have hurt members of Parliament and the people of Fiji, members of this august House during my recent speech or even to all the speeches and remarks I have made in the past, I beg humbly to apologise to all and request a word of forgiveness please."

Speaker Dr Jiko Luveni said she took note of his comment.

"Although it's not a point of order that I can rule on, but we do note your comment," Dr Luveni said.

Chairman of the Privileges Committee Ruveni Nadalo yesterday confirmed that as of Wednesday, they were still deliberating on the matter.

[PIR editor's note: On Sept. 29, 2016 Fiji Times reported that 'The Parliament's Privileges Committee has recommended that Opposition Whip, Ratu Isoa Tikoca be suspended from Parliament for the rest of the term. ... The committee has also recommended that Ratu Isoa not enter the Parliament premises during his suspension. ... It has also recommended that necessary measures must be taken if Ratu Isoa fails to comply with whatever decision is made. ... The Parliament will debate on the committee's recommendations now.']

Mr Nadalo said the committee sat late into the night on Tuesday.

"We haven't finished with the deliberations, so we will continue after this (yesterday's) session," he said.

Mr Nadalo said the committee would have reached a decision on the matter of privilege by yesterday afternoon.

Dr Luveni referred the matter to the committee after it was brought to her attention by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

Ratu Isoa made some comments against the Attorney-General during the budget debate that, according to the PM's complaint, could promote ill-will and hostility between communities or ethnic groups within Fiji.

Fiji Times Online.
Copyright © 2016 Fiji Times Online. All Rights Reserved

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