NEWS

Ratu Epeli Schools Opposition Opposition Members of Parliament

Since the petitions raised by the two Opposition MPs were before the courts, he said it was not within Parliament’s powers to adjudicate or deliberate on the matters.
15 Feb 2019 10:10
Ratu Epeli Schools Opposition Opposition Members of Parliament
Ratu Epeli Nailatikau

Two Opposition Members of Parliament were yesterday schooled by the Speaker of Parliament, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, after they raised issues that were before the courts.

Ratu Epeli said Parliamentarians needed to be mindful of the constitutional separation of powers between the three arms of State – the judiciary, the legislature and the executive.

Since the petitions raised by the two Opposition MPs were before the courts, he said it was not within Parliament’s powers to adjudicate or deliberate on the matters.

He was referring to Ro Filipe Tuisawau’s and Jese Saukuru’s petitions.

Ro Filipe had sought negotiations and settlement in relation to land claims in the Suva Peninsula.

Ratu Epeli ruled: “This petition is clearly trying to get Parliament to take action that is not within the powers of Parliament to take.

“In that regard this petition cannot be allowed under Standing Order 37 subclause 2b.”

The second petition was from Mr Saukuru, who sought action from Parliament for the Minister for Lands to revert certain state land to iTaukei land under the State Lands Act of 1945.

Ratu Epeli said it was clear that the petition attempted to get Parliament to take action that was not within its powers to take.

He stressed that it was not for Parliament to direct the exercise of the executive authority when written laws give them the power and authority, whether it is a Minister or a Public Officer, to make decisions under any such law.

The petition was disallowed under Standing Order 37 subclause 2b.

Ratu Epeli said challenges to executive actions and inactions must be judicially reviewed in a court of law and the matters raised in Mr Saukuru’s petition should be raised with the lands minister.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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