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NFP members boycott Parliament opening


Sep 12, 2016 04:16:15 PM

NFP members boycott Parliament opening National Federation Party Leader, Professor Biman Prasad and NFP Parliamentary Whip Prem Singh boycotted the President's address for the new term of Parliament today.

Party President, Roko Tupou Draunudalo said the Management Board of NFP decided that the Parliamentary caucus of the NFP boycott the session in protest over the continuing political persecution and intimidation of the Opposition and the draconian muzzling of free expression and assembly in Fiji.

She said the Management Board chaired by the Party President was strongly of the view that the Party’s MPs were not elected to be props for the Fiji First Government's farcical democracy.

"Just this weekend, one Opposition Member of Parliament and NFP Leader; a Trade Unionist who was a former NFP Leader; 2 members of the SODELPA party and a NGO member were arrested so swiftly for a meeting that took place a week or so ago.”

“The Management Board strongly condemned the arrests and detention as intimidation and political persecution in a country whose Government prides itself as promoting “true democracy, equal citizenry and fundamental freedoms”. Nothing can be further from the truth.”

“We firmly believe that this is just a continuation of many other offensive actions against the Opposition and the people of Fiji since the last general elections, such as: the suspension of two Opposition Members of Parliament for excessive periods from Parliament depriving them of the ability to serve their constituents; amendment of the Parliamentary Standing Orders to allow it to pursue a one-sided legislative agenda and to ignore the views of the Opposition and the public and the amendment of the Parliamentary Standing Orders by the Government to remove the Hon. Professor Biman Prasad as Chair of the Public Accounts Committee.”

“The eyes of the world have been on Fiji this weekend. The Government’s lack of commitment to democratic principles and processes is clear. The people will give their verdict in due course.”

Meanwhile the Members of Opposition who attended the opening today wore black ribbons in protest of what they claimed “continued efforts to silence any noise of dissent” by the FijiFirst Government.

By Reginald Chandar



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