Opinion | Politics

Opposition Agenda Plain For All To See

Opposition MPs tried to pre-empt Police investigation. Some of them acted as judge, jury and executioner.
09 Sep 2019 12:04
Opposition Agenda Plain For All To See
Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Opinion:

In its relentless pursuit for “justice”, the National Federation Party Opposition’s ultimate objective was and still is, to see Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama lose his seat in Parliament and his job.

That is why it will not support any form of reconciliation in the alleged Bainimarama-Pio Tikoduadua incident.

That was the reason Mr Tikoduadua rejected the Privileges Committee Report to Parliament and refused to apologise for his part in the row with Mr Bainimarama.

Mr Bainimarama has apologised as recommended by the committee and therefore evaded the six-month suspension.

Mr Tikoduadua, however, copped the six-month suspension for his defiance.

In an emotional defence of his position on Friday, he told Parliament that he was standing up for truth according to his conscience, principle and honour.

He said he was not referring to Mr Bainimarama’s family when he told him to clean up his own house first during a debate on the drug situation in Fiji.

The reference to your own house was interpreted as his family by Mr Bainimarama and he raised a point order to state his objections.

The alleged assault incident happened after that.

Mr Bainimarama said it was spontaneous and it happened on his way out from the debating chamber when he saw Mr Tikoduadua. It was not premeditated as some Opposition MPs had claimed,

In light of the intensity of the Parliament debate on the issue, one thing must be made clear.

The Parliament and the Police are two independent institutions. Mr Tikoduadua lodged his complaint to both.

Parliament has dealt with it using in its own independent process, which was completed on Friday.

The Police must be allowed to conduct its own investigation, which is continuing.

The Opposition MPs, particularly the NFP trio leader Biman Prasad, Lenora Qereqeretabua and Mr Tikoduadua and their SODELPA sympathisers, tried to pre-empt Police investigations. Some of them acted as judge, jury and executioner.

They have already convicted Mr Bainimarama, although Police investigations are not complete.

When Police investigations are finished the file will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions to decide whether charges should be laid.

Under our justice system, a person is innocent until proven guilty of an alleged offence.

Right through this saga, Mr Bainimarama has acted like a statesman despite what his detractors said.

He has twice reached out to apologise to Mr Tikoduadua via the Speaker of Parliament.

He finally apologised on Friday in front of the nation via a live television broadcast from Parliament. It was a show of humility and remorse.

 

But Mr Tikoduadua rejected it by not accepting his apology and declined to apologise for allegedly provoking the incident with his “in your own house” statement.

He would have gained more respect and support if he had apologised and showed he too belonged to that special group of elder statesmen.

No one condones what happened in this incident when it is considered from a holistic perspective.

Both men know each other very well and they could have easily resolved this in the traditional way as alluded to by the Tui Cakau, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu.

But the brains trust within the NFP has a different agenda.

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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