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No Public Apology Yet

Suspended Opposition and SODELPA MP Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu has not publicly apologised. He was suspended by Parliament last Thursday for two years for making derogatory remarks against the Speaker in
28 May 2015 10:27
No Public Apology Yet
Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu.

Suspended Opposition and SODELPA MP Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu has not publicly apologised.

He was suspended by Parliament last Thursday for two years for making derogatory remarks against the Speaker in a SODELPA political meeting.

He was also required to apologise publicly and keep out of Parliament precincts.

Ratu Naiqama wrote a letter to the Speaker, Dr Jiko Luveni on May 22, 2015, titled “Public Apology”, a copy of which was sighted by the Fiji Sun.

It said “Pursuant to paragraph D of the Motion passed by the House of Representatives last night, Thursday 21 May 2015, I hereby give you my public apology for the breaches of privilege and contempt that the majority (27) of the House found against me.”

Technically speaking, the letter was personal to Mrs Luveni and her office. It does not absolve Ratu Naiqama from his responsibility to publicly apologise.

A public apology requires Ratu Naiqama to go public via the media to say sorry to the Speaker. He has not done this. If he refuses to do it then it constitutes another breach. He could face serious new contempt of Parliament charges and associated penalty.

When contacted yesterday, Dr Luveni confirmed she had received Ratu Naiqama’s letter.

“But I am still awaiting that public apology,” she said. She declined to comment further.

Ratu Naiqama’s sincerity comes into question because of the tone of the last sentence in his letter to Dr Luveni.

“I wish to advise your good self that I will be seeking legal advice as to further action,” the letter said.

It implies that he intends to challenge  Parliament if he can legally.

Ratu Naiqama could not be reached to comment yesterday.

The Opposition protested against the suspension by walking out of Parliament last Thursday and boycotting Friday’s sitting because of what it claimed as the “ severity of the punishment as well as some fundamental lapses in fairness and justice.” Opposition leader Ro Teimumu Kepa said the caucus of the Opposition would decide their course action this week. Mick Beddoes, principal administrative officer in the Opposition office, said the meeting would be held today.

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 




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