Politics

20th September

Prasad says an independent Parliamentary counsel should have been requested

BECAUSE of the Government majority membership, an independent Parliamentary counsel should have been requested to guide the Privileges Committee on the report that was tabled in Parliament on a matter of privilege against Prime Minister...

Committee was at liberty to question any witness: Bhatnagar

THE Privileges Committee was at liberty to question any witnesses giving evidence on matters of privilege against Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua. This was the response from committee chairperson and deputy speaker Veena Bhatnagar to Mr Tikoduadua, who was summoned to give evidence before the Committee on September 3. He had...

Government MPs considered PM didn’t break glasses

GOVERNMENT MPs Inia Seruiratu and Mahendra Reddy considered that Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama didn’t break Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua’s glasses because they were in Mr Tikoduadua’s hand and not his pocket. This came up while they were scrutinising a video of Mr Bainimarama allegedly manhandling Mr Tikoduadua outside Parliament on August 9. Mr Tikoduadua had...

SG’s office requested to assist the Privileges Committee

THE Office of the Solicitor-General’s (SG’s) was requested to assist the Parliamentary Privileges Committee draft its report on a matter of privilege against Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua. This was highlighted in the Committee’s verbatim report The report records that Agriculture Minister and Committee member Dr Mahendra Reddy said that the...

19th September

‘UN staff was on attachment’

A UNITED Nations Development Programme (UNDP) employee who is believed to have recorded the video of Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama allegedly manhandling Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua outside Parliament on August 9 while working for the Fiji Parliament, had not been given any Parliament induction. This has been revealed by the acting secretary-general to Parliament, Viniana...

Bhatnagar turns down proposal for witnesses

PARLIAMENTARY Privileges Committee chairwoman Veena Bhatnagar turned down proposals for more witnesses to give evidence on a matter of privilege against Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and suspended Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua, according to the committee’s verbatim report of September 5. It is alleged that on August 9, Mr Bainimarama manhandled Mr Tikoduadua outside Parliament. Mr...

Seruiratu: Apology is what everyone wants

THE first recommendation by the Parliamentary Privileges Committee to have Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua apologise to Parliament about what transpired on August 9 “seems to be what everybody wants”. Defence Minister and committee member Inia Seruiratu made the comments while the committee deliberated on their recommendations, the committee’s verbatim report...

Bulitavu explains common assault

THE alleged assault by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama on suspended Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua outside Parliament on August 9 could amount to common assault under the Crimes Act. This was the view of Opposition MP and member of the Parliamentary Privileges Committee, Mosese Bulitavu while they were deliberating on a matter of privilege against the...

‘Sound in CCTV footage not clear’

VEENA Bhatnagar, the Parliamentary Privileges Committee chairwoman, said the sound in the CCTV footage of the incident involving Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and suspended Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua that was provided to the committee was not clear. The committee’s verbatim report stated that Mrs Bhatnagar said the committee could not ascertain the words that were...

Reddy disapproves of evidence

AGRICULTURE Minister and Parliamentary Privileges Committee member Dr Mahendra Reddy disapproved of SODELPA MP Ratu Suliano Matanitobua giving evidence on a matter of privilege against Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and suspended Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua. This was revealed in the committee’s verbatim report of September 5, after Opposition MP Adi Litia Qionibaravi suggested to the...

MP calls for sentence to act as deterrent

OPPOSITION MP Mosese Bulitavu suggested to the Parliamentary Privileges Committee that they should consider what precedent they would be setting when dealing with the alleged assault by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama of Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua and should consider a sentence that would act as a deterrent to prevent an assault happening in the future....

Seruiratu on nature of offence

THE nature of the alleged offence by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama could be different if Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua was injured, said Defence Minister and member of the Parliamentary Privileges Committee Inia Seruiratu. This is an observation he made to the committee according to its verbatim report dated September 5, 2019. Mr Tikoduadua had alleged...

18th September

‘Decision to set new precedent’

THE September 6 decision by Parliament on matters of privilege against Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and suspended Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua will set a new precedent for aspiring politicians, says former secretary-general to Parliament Mary Chapman. Mr Bainimarama allegedly manhandled Mr Tikoduadua outside Parliament on August 9. Before that, Mr Bainimarama claimed he was personally...

Suspended MP defends action, committee to accept statement

“THE decisions that you take here must be consistent with the laws of Fiji.” According to the verbatim record of proceedings, this was told to the Parliamentary Privileges Committee by Defence Minister and committee member Inia Seruiratu while deliberating on a matter of privilege against suspended Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua earlier this month. In taking...

MP ‘under duress committee heard’

SUSPENDED Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua told the Parliamentary Privileges Committee that he was appearing before them under “duress”. Mr Tikoduadua was first summoned before the committee on September 3 for a matter of privilege against him. Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama had claimed in Parliament on August 9 that he was personally attacked by Mr Tikoduadua....

Tikoduadua claims he ‘never organised functions for PM’

OPPOSITION MP Pio Tikoduadua told the Parliamentary Privileges Committee that he had never organised a function for Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama’s family at home while he was his commander. Mr Tikoduadua served as Mr Bainimarama’s personal staff officer (PSO) while the Prime Minister was the Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces. According to...

Comments made as party general secretary, says Sayed-Khaiyum

“I MADE those statements as the general secretary of the party (FijiFirst).” This was the explanation of the Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during the Parliamentary Privileges Committee meeting on Monday September 2, 2019 about statements he had made against Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua in Parliament and in a press conference on August 9. The Opposition Leader,...

AG raises concerns over footage

ATTORNEY-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum raised concerns to the Parliamentary Privileges Committee about the video of the alleged assault of suspended Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama that was being circulated on social media. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum was previously a member of the committee before he recused himself on September 3. According to the verbatim...

16th September

Bainimarama has no values, Tikoduadua tells committee

“IF someone wants to defend their family and allows them any room to go physical with someone without following the law, then I would be very concerned.” Suspended Opposition MP and National Federation Party president Pio Tikoduadua raised this to the Parliamentary Privileges Committee prior to his suspension on September 6. Mr Tikoduadua alleged that...

PM wanted apology from MP

PRIME Minister Voreqe Bainimarama had asked Speaker of Parliament Ratu Epeli Nailatikau that suspended Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua apologise to him. Mr Bainimarama met Ratu Epeli on the afternoon of August 9 to apologise to Parliament and propose a meeting with Mr Tikoduadua. “I offered my apologies to the Speaker for what transpired in Parliament,...

Qereqeretabua had warned NFP president

OPPOSITION MP Lenora Qereqeretabua had warned her colleague and National Federation Party president Pio Tikoduadua that Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama was looking for him before the events of August 9 took place. She revealed this in her evidence to the Parliamentary Privileges Committee. Ms Qereqeretabua said after a heated debate that morning, she looked across...

‘He never apologised to me’

THE Prime Minister, in all my relationship with him, has never apologised to me, suspended Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua told the Parliamentary Privileges Committee on September 3, 2019. Mr Tikoduadua made the comments after he was asked by Defence Minister and committee member Inia Seruiratu if he was willing to accept an apology from Prime...

Suspended MP was ‘sacked twice’ as former PS

SUSPENDED Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua was allegedly sacked twice while serving as permanent secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office. The revelation was made by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama in his evidence to the Parliamentary Privileges Committee on September 4. Mr Bainimarama was summoned to appear before the committee after he was alleged to have manhandled...

Glasses fell after push

SUSPENDED Opposition member Pio Tikoduadua told the Parliamentary Privileges Committee that his Oakley sunglasses had fallen from his pocket after Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama “pushed” him. He revealed this after he was asked by committee member Dr Mahendra Reddy on how his glasses fell from his pocket on August 9. Dr Reddy said the footage...

Bainimarama: Party leader’s presence rejected by Speaker

THE Speaker of Parliament, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau did not agree to the presence of National Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad during a proposed meeting between Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and suspended Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua. The revelation surfaced in Mr Bainimarama’s evidence to the Parliamentary Privileges Committee in their meeting dated September 4, 2019....

14th September

Fiji’s contribution to world peace maintains global respect

THE island nation of Fiji continues to receive global recognition and admiration with its years of contribution to global peacekeeping. This time, and again from the United Nations Security Council, commending Fiji’s contribution of more than 40 years at the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations. Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Satyendra Prasad commended...

13th September

PM Bainimarama and delegation welcomed in first State visit to Sydney

FIJI’S Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and his delegation were warmly welcomed upon arriving for his first official State visit to Sydney, Australia, yesterday. Head of the Office of the Pacific in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Ewen McDonald and Australian High Commissioner to Fiji John Feakes officially received PM Bainimarama and his delegation....

Fijian PM honours Pohiva’s legacy

PRIME Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has called on Pacific leaders to honour the legacy left behind by the late Prime Minister of Tonga, Akilisi Pohiva. Mr Pohiva died yesterday after he was evacuated to Auckland, New Zealand, on Wednesday after suffering from pneumonia. In a message on his official Facebook page, Mr Bainimarama said he mourned...

Namosimalua: Police yet to take footage

MORE than a month since suspended Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua lodged a complaint at Totogo Police Station in Suva on allegations of assault against Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, police are yet to retrieve a copy of the video of the incident from the Parliament secretariat. This has been revealed by the acting secretary-general to Parliament,...

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