NEWS

Prakash Resigns As Govt MP, Lal Steps Up

FijiFirst Party general secretary Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum confirmed Mr Prakash’s resignation adding that he had done so to keep the dignity of the House and the party.
08 Dec 2020 11:08
Prakash Resigns As Govt MP, Lal Steps Up
Former MP, Vijendra Prakash.

FijiFirst Member of Parliament Vijendra Prakash has resigned from parliament, while six SODELPA MPs facing similar charges of alleged financial misconduct said they will stay on.

Mr Prakash and the six SODELPA MPs Ratu Suliano Matanitobua, Salote Radrodro, Adi Litia Qionibaravi, Peceli Vosanibola, Simione Rasova and Niko Nawaikula were charged with one count of false information to a public servant and one count of obtaining financial advantage.

It is alleged that the MPs breached the Parliamentary Remuneration Act of 2014 when they claimed travel and accommodation allowances, they were not entitled to.

FijiFirst Party general secretary Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum confirmed Mr Prakash’s resignation adding that he had done so to keep the dignity of the House and the party.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said: “The reality of the matter is that his charges are very serious charges and he did not want this to in any way blemish the credibility and the integrity of Parliament.

“Of course, he was also concerned about the party itself and we’d like to acknowledge his fortitude and indeed his dignity in pursuing his resignation and the fact that he has resigned.”

Mr Prakash would be replaced by Virendra Lal.

The Electoral Commission has indicated receiving the notification from Parliament and starting the process to fill in the vacancy.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said some of the SODELPA MPs charged had taken to social media saying that this had never happened anywhere in the world.

He said MPs in England and Australia had been sent to jail for such offences and people needed to get their facts right.

Unlike Mr Prakash, the SODELPA MPs said they would not resign.

Party leader Viliame Gavoka said under the Constitution the MPs were innocent until proven guilty.

Niko Nawaikula called the charges baseless and a ploy. He said he would not resign.

Ratu Suliano Matanitobua declined to comment on the matter while Peceli Vosanibola said he was going to wait for the outcome of the court. Salote Radrodro said she would let the court decide.

Feedback:  shalveen.chand@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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