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Speaker rules against Prasad point of order

Speaker rules against Prasad point of order
Speaker of the Parliament of Fiji Dr Jiko Luveni. Photo: Parliament of Fiji
March 09
09:31 2018

Speaker Doctor Jiko Luveni yesterday ruled against the Point of Order raised by the NFP Opposition MP Professor Biman Prasad.

Mr Prasad, on Wednesday, had raised a point of order against the Minister for Economy and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum alleging that he had breached the Standing Orders and allegedly misled and brought dishonor to Parliament.

However, Speaker of the House said Mr Prasad.

“read the incorrect copy of the daily hansard and alleged that the Hon A-G had commented as follows and I quote: ‘’NO such data was collected and he needs to understand that there has been no data based on ethnicity in the 2017 census and they need to move away from that and we are not hiding, there was no collection of data.

The Speaker said Mr Prasad alleged that the A-G brought dishonour and disrepute to Parliament that there was no Census done in 2000 and a Census done in 2007.

She said in raising a point of order Mr Prasad sought the ruling from her on whether the A-G misled the House when he said that the Census was done in 2000, and then there was no aggravation of data based on ethnicity 2017.

In her ruling, the Speaker said it was prejudicial to highlight that on a previous occasion she had ruled that misleading Parliament was a previous matter and maybe viewed as contempt of Parliament.

Dr Luveni said: “There are three elements that must be established in order to show that a member deliberately misled Parliament:

  •  The statement must in fact have been misleading
  •  The member must have known by the time it was made that the statement was incorrect
  •  In making the statement the member must have intended to mislead Parliament.

“In making my ruling I have not only considered the incorrect copy of the daily Hansard but I have also watched the videos of the sitting of Parliament of Monday 5th March 2018, for the sake of completeness I have also watched the video of proceeding of Parliament of Wednesday 7th March when the point of order was raised by Hon. Prasad.

“Having watched the video it is clear that the copy of the daily Hansard on Monday on 5th March 2018 which Mr Prasad refered to is not accurate.”

The Speaker added that the Attorney- General did not mislead Parliament, nor did he bring dishonor or disrepute.

Taking note of a press statement of the government statistician’s statement, she said there was collection of data on ethnicity in the 2017 census but the data was unreliable and could not be used.

“Comments made cannot be categorised as bringing dishonour or disrepute to Parliament, therefore I rule against the point of order.”

Edited by George Kulamaiwasa


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