NEWS

Seruiratu Versus Kepa

Government does not decide which questions of the Opposition are allowed to be asked in Parliament, says Inia Seruiratu. The Leader of Government Business in Parliament was responding to claims
27 Apr 2017 11:00
Seruiratu  Versus Kepa
From left:Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu. Photo: Ronald Kumar Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Government does not decide which questions of the Opposition are allowed to be asked in Parliament, says Inia Seruiratu.

The Leader of Government Business in Parliament was responding to claims by the Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa.

Mr Seruiratu said: “The decision regarding the admission or non-admission of questions, motions or petitions is made by the Speaker of Parliament, Dr Jiko Luveni.

“We respect the independence and judgment of the Honourable Speaker as the final arbiter in such matters,” Mr Seruiratu said.

At a press conference at the Opposition Office, Ro Teimumu claimed the Government, through the Parliament Business Committee and Parliament was imposing severe restrictions on the type of questions, motions and petitions that could be tabled by the Opposition Members of Parliament in the House.

“This week any question, motion and petition that have to do with the Sugar Industry, with iTaukei and Indigenous Rights and developments within any Opposition MP’s constituency have been refused.

“Clearly therefore the Government has been very selective allowing only questions, petitions and motions that do not criticise Government, on its policies and programmes or that is not likely to gather the support of the public against it.

“This is a serious interference with the democratic process and I intend to take this up with my counterparts in other Parliaments, UN Agencies and the Inter-Parliamentary Union,” Ro Teimumu said.

Ro Teimumu, Salote Radrodro, Samuela Vunivalu, Ratu Sela Nanovo, Mosese Bulitavu, Jiosefa Dulakiverata and Anare Vadei were in attendance at the press conference.

NFP Leader Biman Prasad was not present during the press conference since it was called on short notice.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

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