Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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‘Stupid piece of legislation’, says Qalo

Activist Salote Qalo has labeled the name change policy introduced by the previous Government “a stupid piece of legislation”.

While speaking during the public consultation on the review of the name change policy in Suva today, Qalo said the legislation was brought forward by the FijiFirst Government, simply because they lost their case against former Member of Parliament Niko Nawaikula.

Qalo, 77, said this was a tic for tat response by the FijiFirst Government and personal vendetta against Nawaikula.

In 2021,  Nawaikula challenged the validity of his parliamentary seat becoming vacant.

Suva lawyer, Jon Apted said Nawaikula lost his seat in Parliament after the Supervisor of Elections removed his name from the National Register of Voters because Nawaikula had registered under his common name used since childhood and not his birth certificate name.

Apted said that the Supervisor of Elections at that time was wrong in law.

Qalo said she has been unable to travel overseas to visit her children, due to the hassle and financial constraint that this current legislation had on most married women.

“Imagine that married women living in rural areas, maritime islands that succumbed to this ill-thought policy because the Government’s ego was bruised in the process.:

The Office of the Attorney-General together with the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty is holding consultations around the country on the review of this policy that brought about the amendments to the Interpretation Act and the Electoral (Registration of Voters) Act 2012 in 2021.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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