The Office of the Prime Minister says the offer of a government quarters to be provided to the Leader of Opposition, Voreqe Bainimarama was made in good faith and was to be regularised through parliament.
Permanent Secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office, Pita Wise has made this comment after the FijiFirst Party posted Bainimarama’s letter to the Speaker of Parliament, saying that he will not accept the paid Government quarters as it is illegal.
Bainimarama says the current law does not allow for such a benefit for the Leader of Opposition.
He says neither the Prime Minister nor the Speaker of Parliament can unilaterally go outside the scope of the law.
Bainimarama says that in this instance, parliamentary approval is required for any amendments to the existing benefits.
The former Prime Minister is still staying at the official PM’s residence in Muanikau.
Wise reiterates that Rabuka has given time to Bainimarama to stay at the official PM’s residence until he is ready to vacate the house.
He says the Prime Minister is being understanding and human about the situation, and has given Bainimarama time to organise himself and there is no hurry.
While speaking on Bainimarama’s letter to the Speaker, Wise says Bainimarama may have his own reasons but the offer has been made and they will go to parliament if it is accepted. Rabuka continues to stay at his private residence at Namadi Heights after being sworn-in as Prime Minister on December 24th.
Wise also says they will make assessments after Bainimarama vacates the current official residence as it used to be the official residence of the Chief Justice.
The Public Service Commission and Public Works Department will also carry out an assessment of the official PM’s residence at Ratu Sukuna Road.
Wise says the cost to repair that official residence will be determined and they will then see what is best for the Prime Minister.
fijivillage News has asked Bainimarama what is his plan. There has been no response.
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