Politics

Tikoduadua Suspension Ends, Promises An Aggresive Return

Mr Tikoduadua was suspended after an altercation with Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama resulting in an inquiry by the Parliamentary Privileges Committee in August last year.
06 Mar 2020 10:07
Tikoduadua Suspension Ends, Promises An Aggresive Return
National Federation Party president Pio Tikoduadua.

The National Federation Party (NFP) president Pio Tikoduadua’s six-month suspension from Parliament ends today.

And he is looking forward to an aggressive return to Parliament. The next Parliament sitting is from March 16 to 20.

Suspension

Mr Tikoduadua was suspended after an altercation with Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama resulting in an inquiry by the Parliamentary Privileges Committee in August last year.

After hearing all the evidence, the committee said it was satisfied that there was a breach of privilege by both MP’s and that they should apologise to each other and to the Speaker.

Mr Bainimarama apologised to the Speaker Ratu Epeli Nailatikau and stated that he was remorseful. Mr Tikoduadua remained steadfast saying there was no reason for him to apologise because he did nothing wrong. He was consequently suspended for six months.

Parliament return

Mr Tikoduadua said his suspension “for refusing to bow down to an unfair decision” ends on March 6 (today).

“I will enter Parliament to reclaim my rightful place and the rightful place of the people who put me inside to represent and display the same vigour, honesty and integrity along with our Leader and the Honourable Qereqeretabua to uphold and to hold Government to account and voice the concerns of our people as they struggle with the cost of living, low wages, racial discrimination and many other problems that is created by the two-man rule. And we know you know because you feel it in your stomach every day,” he said.

“I want to affirm that it is never about money. I had forfeited $25,000 for upholding the integrity of the house, members of the house and the integrity of the people who voted Members of Parliament into the house. I was assaulted by the PM, and this is public knowledge and I have been penalised for that. And as I said I would rather stand with my integrity fighting for the people than taking my 25k.”

He revealed that he had been farming for the past six months while on suspension.

“I have been farming for the last six months. Going to the market for six months. It is never about money. I have been doing Parliament work for six months, and I have not been allowed into the house, it is never about money.”

Opposition walkout

On the issue of the Opposition walkout on February 18, Mr Tikoduadua said they wanted to show people what true representation was in the house.

“We don’t worry about the pay. Our leader has lost a lot of money. I have lost a lot of money. It has never been about money. So, whoever has been advocating that it is about money, you can take your money but we will stay with the people. We have always stayed with the people.”

Government whip

He also hit out at Government whip Alvick Maharaj who made comments about NFP and its leader, Biman Prasad, following the walkout.

Mr Maharaj said: “Once again the National Federation Party (NFP) has showed that they bow down in front of the Leader of the Opposition and follow SODELPA like their tail. Once again NFP has showed that they do not have their own stand or rather the two NFP members have more say than their leader himself, and the NFP leader is just the puppet dancing to their tune.”

Mr Tikoduadua said that Mr Maharaj’s comments were demeaning and racist.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

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