Politics

‘Bainimarama lost control of his government’ – Rabuka

THE suspension of Solicitor-General Sharvada Sharma and the termination of Fiji Bureau of Statistics chief executive officer Kemueli Naiqama just a few days apart shows that Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has lost control of his...

24th September

Akbar: No society without language

Without language, there could be no society and, possibly, no religion, says Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Akbar. She made the statement while commemorating International Day of Sign Languages yesterday. “Without language, there would be no culture,” Ms Akbar said. “As Fijians, we can be proud to be signatories of the Convention...

Lockdowns delay sea wall projects

Only seven of the planned 18 nature-based sea walls were completed in the last financial year, says Waterways Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy. “We were looking at about 18 nature-based sea walls but with the lockdowns and COVID restrictions, we completed seven – three in the Northern Division, three in the Western Division and one in...

Forum to aid in construction of centre

The Pacific Islands Development Forum is aiding Fiji in the construction of the Fiji Bamboo Centre at the Nasinu Forestry Station, says Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. He made the comment in Parliament this week in response to a question from Government MP Viam Pillay about Fiji’s progress in the development of bamboo. Mr Bainimarama said...

‘Transfers considered for separated families’

Teacher transfers will be considered to bring families together who have been separated for a long period during the second wave of COVID-19, says newly-appointed Education Minister Premila Kumar. She made the comment as she acknowledged her predecessor, Rosy Akbar, for developing an online teacher transfer application process. Mrs Kumar lauded Ms Akbar’s efforts in...

Minister explains delays

Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete says there were delays in the announcement of some COVID-19 deaths because verification of identities and other issues took more time than expected. He offered the explanation in Parliament on Wednesday in response to a question from Opposition MP Adi Litia Qionibaravi. Dr Waqainabete also said the Health Ministry used...

‘8345 kids contracted COVID-19’

More than 8300 children between the ages of 0 to 19 years contracted COVID-19 during the second wave this year and, sadly, some succumbed to it. This, according to Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete. He said this in Parliament yesterday in response to Opposition MP Ratu Tevita Navurelevu who had asked the minister for an...

Spotlight on climate Bill – Government needs to show real commitment, says Tabuya

The Climate Change Bill 2021 is just another tick in the box for the Honourable Prime Minister to look for climate finance at the COP26 Glasgow to fund their elections campaign, says SODELPA Opposition MP Lynda Tabuya told Parliament yesterday. During a debate on the Bill, she said while Government was advocating climate change around...

23rd September

Resort wins award, plans to reopen in 2022

A popular boutique island resort has been awarded the Most Outstanding Luxury Hotel 2021 – Fiji by the LUXlife Magazine UK. The 5th annual Resort and Retreat Awards 2021 proudly hosted by LUXlife Magazine UK bestowed the award to Tokoriki Island Resort. Yesterday the resort management said with all 100 of their team members being...

Specialist unit for police

The Fiji Police Force has seen positive results after the engagement of counsellors, psychologists and specialist unit within the force, says Minister for Defence, National Security and Policing Inia Seruiratu. While responding to a question by MP Sanjay Kirpal on what the Fiji Police Force was doing to ensure that issues of mental health and...

Electricity projects – Usamate: 3600 households connected

About 3600 households across all the divisions in Fiji were provided with electricity through the 188 electricity grid extension projects that have been done by the Ministry of Infrastructure through Energy Fiji Ltd from 2019 until now. Minister for Infrastructure Jone Usamate highlighted this in Parliament while responding to SODELPA member of Parliament Mikaele Leawere’s...

Koya: Fiji’s remittances highest last year

Fiji’s remittances received last year was the highest ever, says Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport Faiyaz Koya. “Currently, Pacific island countries combined are among the largest export destinations for Fiji, approximately 40 per cent of total exports of $894.6 million in 2019 was destined for Pacific island countries,” he said. “And better rules...

‘4000 civil servants applied for assistance’

More than 4000 civil servants were among those that applied for the $360 unemployment assistance from the Government, says Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. He told Parliament that 350,143 applications were received in the first phase of the $360 applications. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said 290,647 applicants were from Viti Levu and 4098 were from Vanua Levu. He said...

A-G: We can’t tell people how to spend the $360

If people bought a few bottles of beer with the $360 allowance, then it is OK, Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said in Parliament on Tuesday. He said “we cannot go and tell them how to spend the money”. “If I for example received the $360 and spent part of that money to buy groceries, I spent...

Parliament passes electoral registration amendment Bill

Parliament yesterday passed the Electoral Registration of Voters Amendment Bill, which now requires Fijians to use the name as stated in their birth certificate and no other aliases. The Bill, which has now become an Act of Parliament, was tabled by Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, and fast-tracked under Standing Order 51. Debating on the proposed legislation...

‘My way or the highway’ – Bill a product of dictatorship, says Biman

Opposition MP and National Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad yesterday told Parliament that the Electoral Registration of Voters (Amendment) Bill was the product of dictatorship, pseudo-democracy and the “my way or the highway” approach to governance in order to ensure continuity of the FijiFirst rule in the country. Prof Prasad said the changes did...

Nawaikula hits out at A-G

Outspoken Opposition MP Niko Nawaikula yesterday claimed in Parliament that the Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum hated the native people and their rights. He made the comment while debating the Electoral (Registration of Voters) (Amendment) Bill and other related Bills. However, Commerce, Trade and Tourism Minister Faiyaz Koya raised a a point of order to condemn the...

22nd September

Bill for an Act to amend the Electoral (Registration of Voters) Act 2012 passed

A Bill for an Act to amend the Electoral (Registration of Voters) Act 2012 was passed by the Fijian Parliament today despite strong opposition. This means Section 2 of the Principal Act is amended in the definition of “residential address” by deleting “, including the province and division, provided however that he or she has...

A-G: Deed poll requirement removed

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says Government has removed the requirement of getting a deed poll done for married women using their husbands’ names. “You simply go to the birth registration office,” he said during debate on the Electoral (Registration of Voters) (Amendment) Bill 2021. “If, say for example, a woman who is married now and decides...

Gavoka: Laws passed by ambush

Social Democratic Liberal Party leader Viliame Gavoka says Parliament has passed 274 laws and “the vast majority came by way of ambush” using Standing Order 51. He made the comment during debate on the Electoral (Registration of Voters) (Amendment) Bill 2021 in the House on Monday. “In jurisdictions overseas, you have at least two months’...

Prasad: Bill to correct ineptitude

The genesis of the Electoral (Registration of Voters) (Amendment) Bill 2021 “is really to correct the incompetence of certain constitutional office holders” who rushed into getting rid of Opposition MP Niko Nawaikula out of the House. This, according to National Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad during debate on the Bill in Parliament on Monday....

Nawaikula: Sack SOE

Opposition MP Niko Nawaikula told Parliament that instead of “wasting time” bringing “a trifecta of laws” in relation to voters and elections into the House, Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum should sack the Supervisor of Elections. “There are about three cases that the courts have stated that the Supervisor of Elections has been wrong but he is...

‘No cop above the law’ – Complaints against police drop – Seruiratu

Complaints against the Fiji Police Force decreased by 12 per cent in the last quarter of 2020, Minister for Defence Inia Seruiratu told Parliament yesterday. He said the Fiji Police Force had set a target of reducing complaints by 10 per cent. Mr Seruiratu also assured that no one in the Fiji Police Force was...

First phase of cultural data collection completed – PM

The first phase of data collection for the 14 provinces under the cultural mapping programs has been completed, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama told Parliament on Monday. He was speaking on the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs program and initiatives to encourage the learning and transfer of indigenous ecological knowledge and environmental management. Currently, he said, data...

Sex offenders to register details – Law strengthened to deter offences, says A-G

Sex offenders will be required to report personal information about themselves in the Register of Sex Offenders where they will be monitored by specified agencies in the community. This comes after Parliament yesterday passed the Registration of Sex Offenders Bill 2018. Speaking on the Bill, Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the law was essential in respect...

21st September

Gavoka: MPs need more time study Bills

Members of Parliament need to be given the opportunity and more time to study Bills before they are tabled, says SODELPA leader Viliame Gavoka. He was responding to a motion by Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum that the Interpretation Amendment Bill 2021 be passed through Standing Order 51 in Parliament on Wednesday. “Let’s give it another try,...

Biman: A-G should have delivered a statement

Fijian Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum should have delivered a ministerial statement if he wanted to have another go at the 2019-2020 Household Expenditure and Survey report, says Opposition MP Professor Biman Prasad. He made this statement while raising a point of order that the oral question directed at the A-G, to provide an update on why...

FEO conducts first 2022 General Election briefing for stakeholders

Representatives from Fiji’s international partners and locally-based agencies, overseas-based missions, and other stakeholders attended their first briefing by the Fijian Elections Office (FEO), outlining the preparations and plans for the 2022 General Elections. This is the first of a series of briefings, which since 2014 had been the practice of the FEO, to update various...

E-Edition