NEWS

NFP Suspension Endorsed

The suspension of National Federation Party was debated in Parliament yesterday. This was after the Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, moved a motion for Parliament to endorse the suspension of the National
10 Feb 2016 10:21
NFP Suspension Endorsed
Opposition MP outside Parliament yesterday. Photo: Litia Cava.

The suspension of National Federation Party was debated in Parliament yesterday.

This was after the Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, moved a motion for Parliament to endorse the suspension of the National Federation Party and its Members of Parliament from sittings and committees during the suspension period.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Parliament should endorse the suspension.

The Opposition claimed the issue was before the courts and should not be debated.

Speaker of Parliament Dr Jiko Luveni said she was not aware that the issue was now before the court which had not been brought to her attention.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum refuted the claim saying the matter was within Parliament and not a legal proceeding outside Parliament which you cannot comment on.

He said the Opposition did not understand the legal difference.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said on February 1 this year, the Registrar of Political Parties issued a notice to the suspended the NFP suspending their privileges as a political party.

“Because NFP registration was suspended, this basically means Madam Speaker that NFP can’t operate, function and represent itself as a political party,” he said.

In response to this, Opposition MP Niko Nawaikula said as a consequence of the motion in the past the court would be brought in to take out a judicial review.

He talked about procedures saying the other side of the House had suspended Standing Order 6, which was only done for administrative purposes.

Mr Nawaikula said they would have waited for the suspended NFP to be present before the issue was tabled in Government.

Outspoken SODELPA MP, Mosese Bulitavu agreed with Mr Nawaikula.

Meanwhile, Minister for Health and Medical Services, Jone Usamate refuted comments made by the Opposition saying they were ‘waffles’.

“The Attorney-General has moved a motion for us to endorse a decision that has already been taken; it involves all of us in this house to make sure that we can leave by the dictates of this Constitution.

“Like the A-G explained, all of us are sitting here by the virtue of a party; if a party needs to be suspended all we do is endorse that decision,” Mr Usamate said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said it seemed the Opposition had opened up a Pandora’s box in talking about the suspended NFP.

“A great party it was; for if the Opposition don’t get their own way, it means democracy is dead; if they were sitting on this side of the house and the same thing happening they will say democracy is very much alive,” he said.

The motion was approved with 29 votes to 14 while seven members abstained.

Edited by Manasa Kalouniviti

Feedback:  arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

 



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