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PM Responds To Tikoduadua’s New Reasons For Resignation In 2015

PM Responds To Tikoduadua’s New Reasons For Resignation In 2015
Pio Tikoduadua explains his reason for joining the National Federation Party in Tamavua on 15 April, 2017. Photo: Ronald Kumar.
April 16
10:59 2017

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says Pio Tikoduadua is just someone who is standing for the general elections.

Mr Bainimarama made the remark yesterday in response to Mr Tikoduadua’s announcement on why he resigned from Parliament and was now joining the National Federation Party.

This had previously been predicted by the Fiji Sun.

Mr Tikoduadua, the former Fiji First Minister for Infrastructure and Leader of Government Business, resigned from Parliament in May 2015, citing health reasons.

Mr Tikoduadua said yesterday the reasons he stated at that time were that he had serious health issues developing from his cancer condition.

He said doctors warned his condition could recur if he was not mindful of his personal health and stress.

“My health has improved during the last two years, I have lived in my home village at Delasui, Tailevu, and I continue to manage my personal health as anyone else would do.”

Mr Tikoduadua said he also resigned because Mr Bainimarama did not consider his opinion in regards to a Parliament sitting issue.

Mr Tikoduadua said it was in 2015 when a former Member of Parliament was forced to resign following his vote with the Opposition members in regards to a Parliament motion relating to health issues.

“He did this for reasons of conscience. This was courageous and principled, even if it was politically unwise,” Mr Tikoduadua said.

“Some of my fellow ministers called for him to resign. I was not one of them. I gave my opinion to the Prime Minister that we should show flexibility and forgiveness,” Mr Tikoduadua said.

He said for him this was an opportunity for the Government to listen and learn about why one of its MPs had felt so strongly about an issue that he would vote with the Opposition.

Mr Tikoduadua said Mr Bainimarama  initially accepted his recommendation and he informed the MP that the matter was resolved.

“Unfortunately, the PM then took advice of the Attorney-General and changed his mind. I went back to argue my case again. He then informed me that my opinion did not matter.

“I took that statement as an order that my services were no longer required. I then left the Government,” he said.

When asked why he decided to speak out now, Mr Tikoduadua said at that time he was not feeling well in regards to his health and he had harboured this issue for a long time.

“In terms of the job I have been loyal. I am not making this up, it is the day for it to come out,” he said.

When asked about his relationship with the Prime Minister being the PMs former right-hand man, he said: “I made my decision and today I have stated the reasons. As far as I am concerned I have done everything I can. Loyalty matters and I have been as loyal as far as I can.

“I will not and do not wish to speculate in terms of how the PM would feel, but I know how I feel.”

Mr Tikoduadua said even if he had stayed on with the FijiFirst Government nothing he would have said would change the decisions made in Government.

He added that he stood for democracy and did not have any expectation from NFP on what his position would be in the party.

Edited by Naisa Koroi


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