Speaker ‘satisfied’ – Parliamentary process to appoint Ratu Naiqama as Opposition Leader

Opposition Leader, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu and Speaker of Parliament, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau. Picture: FILE

THE parliamentary process to appoint Tui Cakau Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu as Opposition Leader was duly followed, says Speaker of Parliament Ratu Epeli Nailatikau.

He made the comment while responding to queries on the status of a letter written last year by Social Democratic Liberal Party leader Viliame Gavoka to his office – questioning the appointment of the Leader of Opposition.

Ratu Naiqama took over the role in December last year after former prime minister Sitiveni Rabuka resigned from Parliament.

Ratu Epeli said the guiding documents for the election of the Leader of the Opposition are the Fijian Constitution and the Standing Orders of Parliament.

“I am satisfied that the parliamentary process outlined in Standing Order 14(3) to (13) has been duly followed and that is the end of the matter,” he said.

He also said all official correspondence between him and members of Parliament were confidential and he was in no position to divulge his response to Ratu Epenisa’s letter.

He said meetings with the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and other respective MPs were all part of Parliamentary work.

“In addition, the Speaker does not get involved with the constitutions of political parties nor the internal affairs of political parties.

“The role of the Speaker is entrenched in the Fijian Constitution and the Standing Orders of the Parliament of the Republic of Fiji and that is just what I intend to adhere to.”

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