NEWS

SODELPA Backs Ratu Naiqama

The Opposition Social Democratic Liberal Party said it will not take action against Member of Parliament Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu over his slur against Speaker Dr Jiko Luveni. The derogatory comment
18 May 2015 10:10
SODELPA Backs Ratu Naiqama
The Opposition Social Democratic Liberal Party said it will not take action against Member of Parliament Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu

The Opposition Social Democratic Liberal Party said it will not take action against Member of Parliament Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu over his slur against Speaker Dr Jiko Luveni.

The derogatory comment was made during a SODELPA party constituency meeting last week. Ratu Naiqama appeared not to realise journalists were there covering the meeting. When he did said he was only joking.

Ratu Naiqama, who is also the paramount chief of the Tovata confederacy, was responding to a question from a SODELPA supporter during the meeting last Thursday at the Penueli Methodist Church hall at Makoi. Ratu Naiqama used a derogatory iTaukei word to describe Dr Luveni.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama was incensed by the attack on the Speaker when he heard about it. He said: “I am very saddened to hear that the Member of Parliament, Honourable Lalabalavu has chosen to denigrate the Office of the Speaker of our Parliament by swearing in the vernacular at the Honourable Speaker, Madam Jiko Luveni.

“As you know, the Speaker of Parliament holds a very esteemed position in our Constitutional system of Government in which Parliament is the supreme law-making body.

“To have Honourable Lalabalavu who has not acted very honourably, publicly use abusive terms is scandalous to say the least and indeed is an attack on the Fijian Parliamentary system of governance.”

But last night the principal administrative officer in the SODELPA parliamentary office – Mick Beddoes – stressed that the party would not take Ratu Naiqama to task over the comment, adding that it was made “in jest”.

“It is a ‘non-event’ being pumped up because it is a negative soundbite to fire against the Opposition and in particular Ratu Naiqama,” he said.

“I was there and this matter has been taken totally out of context.

Ratu Naiqama did not speak against

the Speaker. He made a passing remark when asked about the Speakers conduct in Parliament. Let’s not forget this is an Opposition meeting.

“Only Fijians who have had the experience of being in a yaqona session with a paramount chief present would understand the ‘spoiling’ that goes on in the talanoa that takes place. People need to acquire a scene of humour’ and not be so serious about everything.

“It happens and if you want to be in politics, you need to learn to ‘take it’.”

Feedback:  aqela.susu@fijisun.com.fj

 




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