Minister for Home Affairs Pio Tikoduadua has lashed out at Opposition Leader Voreqe Bainimarama for his statement yesterday in Parliament, labelling it as treasonous and that Bainimarama should be referred to the Privileges Committee.
Tikoduadua said Bainimarama made reference towards the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and against His Excellency the President.
“His statements that were directed towards the President were treasonous and should be a matter for the Privileges Committee. Parliament deserves that for its integrity, and the people do not deserve what he did.
“It is irresponsible. No leader should be doing that, and not any leader of his calibre,” Tikoduadua added.
The Minister said that the issue now is that Parliament must deal with this as a privilege matter.
Section 62 (1)(2)(3)(4)(a-d) of the Standing Orders, states that:
(1) When speaking, a member must not impute improper motives to any other member.
(2) The President’s name may not be introduced to influence Parliament or any committee.
(3) The conduct of members, the President, the Chief Justice (performing the functions of the office of President under section 88 of the Constitution), members of the judiciary, or other persons acting in a judicial capacity must not be raised, except on a motion with notice introduced with the Speaker’s permission. In any other situation, reference to the conduct of any of these individuals is out of order.
(4) It is out of order for a member, when speaking, to use—
(a) offensive words against Parliament or another member;
(b) treasonable words;
(c) seditious words; or
(d) words that are likely to promote or provoke feelings of ill-will or hostility between communities or ethnic groups within Fiji.
Yesterday, Bainimarama accused the President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere of failing the Fijian people when they needed him the most.
Bainimarama said Ratu Wiliame will go down in history as the person who aided and abetted the most incompetent and divisive Government.
He said the President failed to protect the Constitution, the rule of law and failed to halt the resultant chaos that is insidiously and rapidly creeping in and the impending disaster that is going to befall upon our beloved country – that will fall upon our people, upon our economy and upon our future generations.
“The President of the Republic of Fiji as Head of State in whom rests the executive authority of the State and who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces failed to acknowledge the fact that the very Constitution which he is supposed to uphold is being stripped away almost on a daily basis. As the commander-in-chief he has failed to provide proper guidance to the RFMF,” he said
Bainimarama added, the President who previously espoused to subscribe to the values of the Constitution has now tragically ignored the mockery that the Rabuka led Government has made of Constitutional democracy.