The decision was not fair – Maharaj
PM says he tried to intervene but they did not want it that way

The decision was not fair – Maharaj

PM says he tried to intervene but they did not want it that way

By Vijay Narayan , Navitalai Naivalurua
Saturday 18/02/2023
Opposition Whip and FijiFirst MP Alvick Maharaj and Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka. [Image: Parliament of Fiji]

Opposition Whip and FijiFirst MP Alvick Maharaj believes the decision to suspend the Leader of Opposition Voreqe Bainimarama was not fair because they were not given ample time to go through the report.

When questioned on who will lead the Opposition, Maharaj said he will not make any comments on it, however, he said that the Opposition Leader will be elected in the next parliament sitting.

Sources says the Opposition leadership is likely to be taken up by senior member of the FijiFirst Party, Inia Seruiratu.

He says they were waiting for this process, and will discuss who will take the leadership role.

He highlighted this after the media questioned him on who will lead the Opposition after Bainimarama, was suspended for 3 years effective from tonight.

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka confirmed that the FijiFirst senior management had asked him to intervene in the decision against Bainimarama, and he tried.

Rabuka was approached by Ioane Naivalurua, Viliame Naupoto and Mosese Bulitavu.

Rabuka says he agreed to intervene because he felt that only somebody who has been forgiven, can ask for someone else to be forgiven.

Meanwhile, Bainimarama has been suspended from Parliament for 3 years.

There were 27 ayes, 24 nos and 4 did not vote.

This is after the Leader of the Government in Parliament, Lynda Tabuya withdrew the earlier amendment motion and moved the original motion again that Bainimarama be suspended from parliament for 3 years effective immediately, to be served until February till 17th February 2026, that Bainimarama to issue a written apology to the President within 14 days from today February 17th 2023, that Bainimarama issues an apology to the public within 48 hours, that during the period of suspension Bainimarama is not allowed to enter the parliamentary precincts and that if Bainimarama fails to comply, necessary enforcement measures must be imposed to ensure compliance.

The amendment motion of 18 months suspension if Bainimarama apologises was withdrawn after the Opposition indicated that he will not apologise as he had done nothing wrong.

Bainimarama was not present in parliament during the debate on his suspension.

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