Speaker of Parliament Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu says that the Business Committee had resolved and agreed through vote that Standing Orders 28, to some extent 29 and Standing Order 30 be waived.
Ratu Naiqama said this waiver allows the use of the vernacular languages, the provision of the vernacular languages, the provisions of the vernacular translations in the Hansard reports and lastly, for the Speaker to pray the way he wishes to pray and will not be offended if someone else comes and prays the way they pray.
He said precedence had been set in the last two terms of Parliament where at the Business Committee level, matters are raised, discussed and determined by the Business Committee, and following that, the Speaker formalizes the decision on the floor of Parliament – which is also exactly what I had done on Friday, 3rd February.
“The Honourable Leader of the Opposition is a member of the Business Committee, and he was present at that meeting, where he also participated in the deliberations. Therefore, his obvious disregard to the Business Committee decision as well as the communication on Friday, 3rd February comes as a surprise because he was present at that meeting,” Ratu Naiqama said.
The Speaker highlighted that the Business Committee had resolved and agreed through vote.“Honourable Members, I reiterate that the Business Committee had agreed to these issues through vote and therefore, that will be the end of the matter,” he added.