The Leader of Opposition, Voreqe Bainimarama says the former Attorney-General and FijiFirst General Secretary, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum is no longer a Member of Parliament.
This was after Bainimarama nominated Sayed-Khaiyum to the Constitutional Offices Commission, earlier this afternoon.
Bainimarama made this video announcement on their FijiFirst Facebook Page earlier this evening, saying he deliberately nominated Sayed-Khaiyum in order to provide the best representation on the Constitutional Offices Commission.
Bainimarama said that his nomination of the former Attorney-General means that he is subjected to Section 63 (1)(b) of the Constitution.
Section 63 (1) (b) of the Fijian Constitution states that the seat of a member of Parliament becomes vacant if the member, with the member’s consent, becomes the holder of a public office.
Section 57 (3) states that for the purposes of this section, “public office” means— any office in, or as a member of, a statutory authority, a commission, or a board established by or continued in existence by the Constitution or any written law.
Bainimarama said, under Section 57(3), Public Office includes the Membership of the Commission.
“In other words, the former Attorney-General will no longer be a Member of Parliament. The former Attorney-General and I – together will provide the best representation to the Constitutional Offices Commission. We will highlight the anomalies that have already commenced and defend the Constitutional appointments and of course the Constitution.”
Bainimarama said that he and his nominee Sayed-Khaiyum attended the first COC meeting on Sunday and claimed the meeting was called in haste, with two days prior notice.
“The agenda item was received the day before (Saturday) while the minutes had been received on the day itself.”
However, it is understood that Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka’s nominees are prominent constitutional lawyer Jon Apted and former MP and lawyer Tanya Waqanika.
According to Section 132 (1) of the Constitution, the Constitutional Offices Commission shall consist of the Prime Minister, who shall be the chairperson; the Leader of the Opposition; the Attorney General; two persons appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister; and one person appointed by the President on the advice of the Leader of the Opposition.
The Constitutional Offices Commission is responsible for providing advice to the President for the appointment of the Chairperson and the members of the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission, the Chairperson and the members of the Electoral Commission, Supervisor of Elections; Secretary-General to Parliament, the Chairperson and the members of the Public Service Commission, Commissioner of Police, Commissioner of the Fiji Corrections Service, Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, Auditor-General, and Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji.