Analysis

Nemani Delaibatiki: Members Of Parliament Given A Lesson On Their Role In Parliament

Parliamentary privilege is sometimes abused in a desperate bid to score cheap political points. That gutter-level politics only appeals to the base instincts of a targeted group of voters.
13 Nov 2019 11:33
Nemani Delaibatiki: Members Of Parliament Given A Lesson On Their Role In Parliament
President Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konrote inspects the Republic of Fiji Military Forces parade in front of the Parliament House in Constitution Avenue on November 12, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Analysis:

President Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konrote yesterday delivered a timely Parliament 101, Member’s Guide.

He outlined the role of Members of Parliament when he opened the 2019-2020 session of Parliament in Suva.

He outlined the successes we have achieved as a nation and the great challenges that lay ahead.

Among these challenges are elements in our society which “seek to sow politics of fear rather than preach proven power of unity.

“And who choose to undermine our prosperity rather than support Fiji’s long-term economic growth and sustainability.”

Members Guide by President Konrote:

  • Deliver solutions to those great challenges
  • You are not in Parliament to guard your political fortunes or make theatre out of political discourse
  • You are to serve as guardians of every Fijian’s wellbeing.
  • Are you speaking in the national interest or are you speaking in the interest of self or party?
  • Are you advocating advancing our people’s collective good or for the benefit of the few at the expense of many?
  • Are you speaking the truth or are you bending the truth to serve a political end?
  • Scrutinising Government is an important function of this Parliament.
  • The business of this chamber is not only relegated to question time.

By all means, those in the Opposition should keep the Government MPs on their toes with well-researched questions and alternative solutions.

President Konrote spoke candidly on the importance of raising the standard of parliamentary debates.

Parliamentary privilege is sometimes abused in a desperate bid to score cheap political points. That gutter-level politics only appeals to the base instincts of a targeted group of voters.

It encourages division and even racism, damaging efforts to build national unity and foster peace and stability.

President Konrote has reset the tone for the new session. Come Monday next week, when MPs start debating his address; let’s hope they have not forgotten.

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