Speaker decides 17 FijiFirst MPs keep their seats, and refers Bainimarama and Koya for alleged probable breaches
Speaker says if party is deregistered, MPs can choose to be independent or join existing party

Speaker decides 17 FijiFirst MPs keep their seats, and refers Bainimarama and Koya for alleged probable breaches

Speaker says if party is deregistered, MPs can choose to be independent or join existing party

By Vijay Narayan
Friday 14/06/2024
[L-R] Opposition Leader Inia Seruiratu, Speaker Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu and FijiFirst MP Faiyaz Koya.

Speaker of Parliament, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu has today decided that the 17 FijiFirst Party MPs who voted for the change in salaries and benefits in parliament did not breach the constitution, as after the independent legal advice received, he has rejected the FijiFirst notification because it does not comply with the requirements of Section 63(3) of the Fiji Constitution. Ratu Naiqama says the FijiFirst notification was signed by Voreqe Bainimarama, purportedly as the Leader of the FijiFirst, and Faiyaz Koya, as the Acting General Secretary of the FijiFirst.

He says Section 5(1)(d) of the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosures) Act 2013, read together with Section 3(2) of the Electoral (Registration of Voters) Act 2012, disqualify a person serving a sentence of imprisonment of 12 months or longer from being an office holder in a registered political party.

The Speaker says consequently, Koya and Bainimarama were not lawfully permitted to hold Bainimarama, an incarcerated criminal, convicted and sentenced to a term of imprisonment of one year, out as Leader of the FijiFirst Party.

Ratu Naiqama says Section 63(3) of the Fiji Constitution required the FijiFirst notification to be signed by both the Leader and the Secretary of the party.

He says not only was it not signed by the Leader of the party, but the fact that both Bainimarama and Koya holding Bainimarama out to be the Leader appears to involve an aspect of criminality.

Ratu Naiqama says it is an offence under Section 27 of the Political Parties Act to knowingly or recklessly make a false statement.

He says he has referred this matter to the Registrar of Political Parties, Ana Mataiciwa, to take appropriate action, with the possibility of charges following should there be sufficient evidence to warrant such a course of action.

He adds that he is also aware that Mataiciwa has issued a notice to the FijiFirst Party requesting that certain breaches of the Political Parties Act be rectified.

Ratu Naiqama makes it clear that should the FijiFirst Party not rectify the breaches with the result that the party is deregistered, he has asked that the FijiFirst MPs notify him promptly as to whether they will become an independent Member or whether they will join an existing party.

He says he has had to seek independent legal advice, and to ensure that both the process he has followed, and his decision have been fair, independent, and impartial.

We are currently in the process of getting the Registrar of Parties.

One of the 17 FijiFirst MPs, Jone Usamate says he will continue to perform his role as a Parliamentarian, to the best of his abilities, and in keeping with FijiFirst values of integrity, meritocracy, diversity and self reliance as a nation.

fijivillage News is also trying to get Koya.

Click here for more stories on the FijiFirst 17 MPs termination issue

FEATURE NEWS
AIDS related deaths increase from 49 in 2022 to 82 in 2023
The issue of HIV/AIDS continues to rise as shocking statistics revealed by the UNDP, highlighted the increase of AIDS related deaths with 49 in 2022 a...
10 hours ago
LATEST NEWS
Professor Baba was revolutionary, not only in education but in politics and public life - Prof. Shameem
The late Professor Tupeni Baba was a giant of an intellect and this is what made him stand out among the academics not only in Fiji and the Pacific ...
6 hours ago

MOE exploring the use of test-kits in school - Radrodro
Minister for Education Aseri Radrodro says the Ministry is exploring some initiatives, such as having drug test kits in schools to counter the ...
10 hours ago

22,800 MSME's are paying about $59m taxes annually - FRCS CEO
There are about 117,000 Micro, Small and Medium businesses in Fiji out of which around 22,800 businesses are paying taxes amounting to around $59 ...
10 hours ago

Upgraded farm Road in Natawa village will boost agricultural efficiency
Farmers and residents of Natawa Village in Vaturu, located in the highlands of Ba, are set to benefit from the recent upgrade of their farm road that ...
11 hours ago

Upgraded farm Road in Natawa village will boost agricultural efficiency
Farmers and residents of Natawa Village in Vaturu, located in the highlands of Ba, are set to benefit from the recent upgrade of their farm road that ...
12 hours ago



fijivillage Straight Talk with Vijay Narayan
Latest Videos

Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
yb
IN DEPTH
2024-2025 National Budget address by the Minister for Finance
2024-2025 National Budget address by the Minister for Finance Prof. Biman Prasad. 2024-2025 Budget ...
12 days ago

Crisis within FijiFirst that led to its deregistration
The FijiFirst Party has been de-registered by the Registrar of Political Parties, Ana Mataiciwa. This is the end of the party that led government ...
16 days ago

Pre-Budget 2024-2025
Pre Budget 2024-2025 budget recommendations and an insight of what people on the ground wish to see in the National Budget
22 days ago

TOP