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Opposition’s GCC Motion Rejected

  The Opposition’s motion to refer the petition for the re-establishment of the Great Council of Chiefs to the Standing Committee was knocked back in Parliament yesterday. Member of Opposition
26 Apr 2016 09:17
Opposition’s GCC Motion Rejected
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Akbar outside Parliament.Photo:Vilimoni Vaganalau.

 

The Opposition’s motion to refer the petition for the re-establishment of the Great Council of Chiefs to the Standing Committee was knocked back in Parliament yesterday.

Member of Opposition Viliame Gavoka, while speaking on the petition, said Fiji’s prosperity came from the establishment of the Great Council of Chiefs.

“GCC is an important body for the iTaukei community; it is no longer part of us and we believe that it should be part of Fiji to make this country stronger.

“We believe that it is critical for the iTaukei community to strengthen their position in the country; there appears to be some misunderstanding as to how the GCC is creating some discomfort amongst the community; about what this body is,” he said.

Mr Gavoka claimed that the GCC was not a creation of the British.  It existed long before that and we must disperse the belief that it was a British body, he said.

“It is important for the iTaukei to have this institution; we need the chiefs to be elevated nationally and linked together for the security and for the prosperity of the nation.

“When you take away the chiefs, things will erode in this country,” he said.

The same sentiments were also shared by Opposition member, Ratu Sela Nanovo.

Ratu Sela said unity between the iTaukei and Indo-Fijians could be seen in the Western Division where they worked together to build our economy through sugarcane farming.

Opposition MP, Ratu Isoa Tikotikoca labelled the Government as anti-iTaukei.

“The GCC is harmless and I don’t see any reason why people should be afraid of such institution,” he said.

Opposition leader Ro Teimumu Kepa said their party, SODELPA, remained committed to the reinstatement of the Bose Levu Vakaturaga.

Opposition MP, Salote Radrodro with a stern voice questioned democracy in Government.

“If Government is by the people; that is why we are sitting here today; their votes got us in here and we should provide an avenue where they are given space for their voice to be heard through the standing committees,” she said.

Mr Gavoka then questioned the results of the vote saying if the total votes cast exceeded 40 per cent of the members then the issue must go before the Standing Committee. He said if they looked at the numbers, 16 agreed and 29 disagreed; it was more than 40 per cent.

Speaker of Parliament, Dr Jiko Luveni said 40 per cent of the member of the house was actually 20, but only 16 had voted yes out of all that voted.

The motion was defeated with 29 disagreeing, 16 agreed and five did not vote.

The Attorney-General C, who led the Government side with the PM away,  chose not to comment on the issue when asked yesterday.

Edited by Manasa Kalouniviti

Feedback: arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

 

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