Analysis | Politics

Reconcile, Forget The Past And Get On With Business Of Running The Nation

There is so much to discuss regarding national issues. But we are bogged down with an alleged Bainimarama-Tikoduadua incident
06 Sep 2019 12:48
Reconcile, Forget The Past And Get On With Business Of Running The Nation
Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua. Photo: Ronald Kumar


Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and National Federation Party MP Pio Tikoduadua should reconcile their differences and get on with the business of running this nation.

Mr Bainimarama has taken the first step and offered to apologise in the presence of the Speaker, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau to Mr  Tikoduadua over an alleged assault incident.

He allegedly reacted to what could be described as a provocation by Mr Tikoduadua in certain accusations against Mr Bainimarama during a debate in Parliament on August 9, on the drugs situation in Fiji.

Mr Bainimarama called for a point of order accusing Mr Tikoduadua of making personal attacks against him.

The rest is now history.

This dispute is between two leaders who personally know each other well. Politics has driven a wedge between them.

Once, they worked together in the Prime Minister’s Office. Mr Tikoduadua was Permanent Secretary to Mr Bainimarama.

He later resigned and contested the 2014 General Election. He was appointed Minister for Infrastructure but resigned in 2015 citing to ill-health.

He later joined the NFP, was elected president and won a seat in the 2018 General Election.

Both have appeared before the Privileges Committee and presented their side of the story.

Under the evidence that has so far been made public, particularly the statement by the Speaker, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, the circumstances surrounding this incident show that the row can be easily sorted out by the two because of their previous association. Ratu Epeli said having considered the complaints by both sides and all the relevant materials, he said there had been a prima facie breach of privilege for words allegedly spoken and acts allegedly done.

Since Monday, the committee headed by deputy Speaker Veena Bhatnagar has been going through all the materials.

It had asked for another extra day to complete its work. The report is expected to be comprehensive with recommendations.

It would be good if it looks beyond the boundaries of this case and recommends measures that will prevent this sort of matter from happening again.

Ratu Epeli has continued from where his predecessor, the late Dr Jiko Luveni, left off in trying to raise the standard of debates.

So any recommendation to help in achieving this purpose would be welcome.

Mr Bainimarama and Mr Tikoduadua are larger than the alleged incident. Things happened in the heat of the moment. This alleged incident was an isolated one and so much has been said about it.

At the end of the day, it’s between them. They are familiar with each other.

Mr Bainimarama has made the first move towards reconciliation.

It’s now up to Mr Tikoduadua to respond and come to the party.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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