Politics

Nemani Delaibatiki: Attorney-General Catches Out MP Gavoka, Accuses Him Of Misleading House

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum reiterated that his figures were from the IMF 2018 figures listings on Oceania GDP per capita.
20 Nov 2019 15:08
Nemani Delaibatiki: Attorney-General Catches Out MP Gavoka, Accuses Him Of Misleading House
Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

Analysis:

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum yesterday caught out SODELPA MP Viliame Gavoka when he attacked Fiji’s GDP Oceania ranking.

Mr Gavoka claimed he was quoting from an independent privately owned website dedicated to providing wide knowledge using sources from the United Nations.

He said the website, native.com, ranked Fiji number 10 with US$4900 among Australia (No 1), New Zealand (No 2), Palau (No 3), Marshall Islands (No 4), Tonga (No 5), Federated  States of Micronesia (No 6), Kiribati (No 7), Samoa (No 8) and Nauru (No 9).

Mr Gavoka said GDP (Growth Domestic Product) per capita was a universal measure of a nation’s prosperity.

But Mr Sayed-Khaiyum raised a point of order and accused Mr Gavoka of misleading Parliament.

He said he had just got the figures on GDP from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stating Australia (No 1), New Zealand (No 2), Nauru (No 3), Fiji (No 4).

“I do not know where honourable Gavoka is bringing his figures from,” he said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum reiterated that his figures were from the IMF 2018 figures listings on Oceania GDP per capita.

“Honourable member has just misled Parliament by stating that Fiji is No 10 whereas in fact, Fiji is number 4 according to IMF,” he said.

Mr Gavoka continued to defend himself by saying his figures were from a credible website.

Government MPs protested loudly, some calling out fake news.

Mr Gavoka said he had also seen the IMF figures but chose to use the website he quoted.  Everyone knows that the IMF is the internationally accepted authority on this issue. It was obvious Mr Gavoka had chosen an obscure website to suit his own political agenda. The agenda was to promote a pro-indigenous platform to counter the provisions of the 2013 Constitution on the equal citizenry.

He was following hot on the heels of colleague Niko Nawaikula who was more of a comedian. He kept the House entertained with his theatrics as he complained about the use of the word Fijian as a common name.

It was clear the Opposition strategy in this debate was to discredit the Government and then call for it to resign and hold fresh elections.

But the Government MPs stood up to the Opposition attacks and defended their position vigorously. Some of them called Mr Nawaikula a joke. He retorted  “you are a joke.”

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