Monday, May 20, 2024
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Chaudhry calls on AG to step aside

Former Prime Minister and Fiji Labour Party Leader, Mahendra Chaudhry is calling on Attorney-General Siromi Turaga to step aside to allow due process that involves Acting Supervisor of Elections, Ana Mataiciwa.

In a statement, Chaudhry said Turaga is one of several senior Ministers referred to the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption.

He said that Turaga is also the subject of a police investigation.

Chaudhry said the Attorney-General must step aside until all allegations against him have been cleared.

“Indeed, procedural rules, and well-established convention, require that all Cabinet ministers under investigation step aside and allow due process to occur unhindered.”

“It is worrying that time and again Prime Minister Rabuka has flouted this important rule of good governance. He argues that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. That may be so but rules in the public service are more stringent requiring those accused to vacate their office pending investigation.”

Chaudhry went on to say that this happened in the case of the suspended Director of Public Prosecutions DPP Christopher Pryde and questioned why is the same rule not applied to everyone else.

He said the Prime Minister continues to send mixed messages on the current controversy over the appointment of Elections Supervisor Ana Mataiciwa.

“In January he had told the media that the appointment had been made and he could not understand why there was delay in making the announcement. At which point Attorney-General Turaga said they were still sorting out terms and conditions for the office.”

“Why then four months later are we still searching for a person to fill the substantive position? What is happening?  Nowhere along the line was there any indication that the January decision had come under review.”

“We call on the Coalition to stop sending mixed messages to the nation. A decision once made must be announced and adhered to unless there are compelling reasons to review it. We could well do with a dose of honesty and openness in dealing with such national matters,” he added.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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