NATION

No Approval For Special Parliament Sitting

The Acting Secretary-General to Parliament, Viniana Namosimalua, says any request for a special sitting of the House must come from the President. Mrs Namosimalua’s response came as the Fiji Sun
18 Jan 2019 15:26
No Approval For Special Parliament Sitting
“From one family to another” These were the words of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison as he paid a courtesy call to the President, Major-General (ret’d) Jioji Konusi Konrote at Borron House on January 17, 2019.

The Acting Secretary-General to Parliament, Viniana Namosimalua, says any request for a special sitting of the House must come from the President.

Mrs Namosimalua’s response came as the Fiji Sun questioned her about a letter written by some Opposition Members of Parliament to the President requesting a special Parliament sitting in light of the visit of Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

She said such a decision was the prerogative of the President to decide whether the matter is of public importance.

“Parliament House is already opened. We opened in November. If the constitution says that if it is not in session then they can request the President to have a sitting in Parliament, then it is really up to the President whether he will approve it,” Mrs Namosimalua said.

“I do not have any response to that if that is what the Constitution says if it is not in session, but we know that it opened in November.

“They (Opposition) are requesting him directly to have a sitting because of the reason that they are giving.”

In a text message Mrs Namosimalua also confirmed that, “S-G’s office has not received anything from HE’s (His Excellency’s) office on a request from Opposition for a special sitting.”

In a letter dated January 15, 2019, Leader of Opposition Sitiveni Rabuka invoked Standing Order 21(3), which states that the President must summon Parliament to meet if it is not in session and he or she receives a request in writing from not less than one-third of all members requesting that Parliament be summoned to meet to consider without delay a matter of public importance.

The letter detailed that it was in recognition of the importance of Mr Morrison’s bilateral visit to Fiji.

“It is our humble and considered view that it is important for the Government to provide an update of Fiji-Australia bilateral relations,” the letter said.

“More so to discuss and consider a bipartisan approach in welcoming the Australian Prime Minister to our shores, as a true democratic nation.

“It will also give the Opposition Parties the opportunity to have bilateral discussions with the Australian Prime Minister on matters of common interest.”

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj

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