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Prasad to meet PM; Tabuya outlines parliamentary process

The National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad says he has yet to meet with the Prime Minister regarding the Coalition Government’s current impasse.

Speaking to FijiLive, Prof Prasad said he briefly met with the Prime Minister this morning, before the Fiji Indigenous Business Council Meeting; however, they did not discuss the matter.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka indicated that he intended to take action against National Federation Party Members of Parliament who voted against the recommendations of the Emoluments Committee.

However, Rabuka did not disclose how he intends to follow through with this threat.

The Deputy Prime Minister refused to comment on an email received by FijiLive from the Emoluments Committee Chairperson, Lynda Tabuya claiming that the members of NFP were actively pursuing a FijiFirst and National Federation Party Coalition.

Prof Prasad said he would not comment on the matter.

He confirmed that he had not seen the content of the email from Tabuya to the media.

In the letter, Tabuya claimed that NFP threatened to pull out of the Coalition to join FijiFirst.

Tabuya said: “When NFP did not get their way after protesting, I was reliably informed that NFP allegedly approached Fiji First members to open discussions on an NFP/FFP coalition, and Hon Prasad issued a warning to the Hon Prime Minister about the coalition agreement.”

“I will categorically state here that at no time during this entire process did NFP oppose the recommendations or raise any objections from March when they had over two months to consider it,” Tabuya said.

The Emoluments Committee Chairperson highlighted that the draft report of the independent consultant was largely ready in March and was circulated to the three political party leaders in Government.

Tabuya said this is because political parties represented in parliament made submissions to the committee which were forwarded to the independent consultant.

She added that members of the Fiji First party in the committee also shared it with their Party.

“There was nothing rushed about the tabling of the motion for debate last week.  It is simply me doing my job as the chair to follow the mandated parliamentary process under the Standing Orders to table the report and to be debated.  That is the legal process.  The motion approved on Friday stipulates the effective date from 1st August to 31st December 2024.”

“The next step in the process is for Parliament to work with the Solicitor General’s office with the proposed amendments to the Acts.  It will go through the process normally laid out for proposed bills.  Then it will be brought back to parliament for debate and decision.

“This will be undertaken in those six months stipulated in the motion.  Members of the public will be consulted on these proposed bills and are free to submit their views during this period,” Tabuya said.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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