Analysis: The Best, The Good And The Negative

Speeches given last week in Parliament indicated that future debates will be healthy and robust. These are some of those who stood out: BEST Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama – He
06 Dec 2018 11:30
Analysis: The Best, The Good And The Negative

Speeches given last week in Parliament indicated that future debates will be healthy and robust. These are some of those who stood out:

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama – He stuck to the same principles that he started with in 2014 and has never deviated from that. He’s spoken about equal opportunity in an inclusive, modern Fiji and about moving Fiji forward.

Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum – He showed his class in the way he responded in his right of reply in his capacity as acting PM. He gave a well-researched reply based on facts and truth.

Minister for Defence and National Security Inia Seruiratu – He was in his own element and spoke with passion and authority and complemented what both the PM and the A-G shared in their statements.

Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete – Has immediately stamped his mark with a powerful maiden speech. Despite being called a traitor by anti-Government forces, he was unruffled. He spoke with a lot of passion and conviction. Expect major changes in the Ministry of Health.

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Disaster Management and Meteorological Services Jone Usamate – His trademark presentation showed a more accomplished speaker in Parliament. His transfer from Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations to Infrastructure, one of the challenging ministries, shows the confidence the PM places in him.

At the moment he looks number 4 on the government bench pecking order.


Minister for Industry, Trade, Tour- ism, Local Government, Housing and Community Development Premila Kumar – Has also established herself as an MP to watch in the next four years. Already her presence has been felt not only in Parliament, but in her ministry. She has now earned a reputation as a minister who gets things done.

Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa – Keeps growing as politician and leader. She has not only led the charge on women’s empowerment, she is not afraid to speak out on other issues that concern her.

Government Whip and Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports Alvick Maharaj – The Suva pharmacist and Government Whip is the youngest MP in Parliament and has shown that he will not shy away from addressing sensitive issues. The young people of this country can bet on him to advocate their issues.

Opposition Leader Sitiveni Rabuka – Despite his chequered history, Mr Rabuka has emerged as a more level-headed politician than some of his MPs. His conciliatory tone indicates that he is willing to talk to the Government on more pressing national issues. But what remains to be seen is whether he will eventually walk the talk.

Opposition Whip Lynda Tabuya –Like her leader, Mr Rabuka, Ms Tabuya shows that she is also willing to work with the Government to build a better Fiji. Her speech was unique compared with her colleagues in the Opposition. It was positive and did not criticise the Government.

National Federation Party’s Opposition MP Lenora Qereqeretabua

She focused on environmental issues and even suggested that MPs come to Parliament with their own water bottles to reduce the use of single-use plastic bottles.

The environment is going to be her priority issue.


While it is their right to criticise the Government, the following MPs and few others sounded negative and did not offer much alternatives other than old policies we have heard before.

They find it hard to accept that the FijiFirst Government has made it yet again.

Opposition MP Niko Nawaikula – He believed that voting was still along racial lines.

“The Indo Fijians, for their security voted for FijiFirst abandoning NFP and Labour.

“All native Fijians with exception of 147 or so that voted for FijiFirst voted SODELPA because they value their culture, their tradition and their group rights that are currently under attack by FijiFirst.”

Opposition MP Mikaele Leawere – On the 2018 General Election, Mr Leawere did not accept that the FijiFirst party made it again to another term in office.

“The truth is, Madam Speaker, that we have inherited a divided nation and disputed mandate resultant from the general elections this month.”

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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