NEWS

Bulitavu Calls On Gavoka To Resign. Now

In his ruling in Parliament, the Speaker said that since he was unable to decide on how Mr Bulitavu voted on the 2021-2022 Budget and Bill No. 17, his seat as a Member of Parliament cannot be deemed vacant and he remains as a Member of Parliament.
11 Sep 2021 10:00
Bulitavu Calls On Gavoka To Resign. Now
SODELPA MP Mosese Bulitavu outside High Court in Labasa on September 10, 2021. Photo: Shratika Naidu

SODELPA Member of Parliament, Mosese Bulitavu, has retained his parliamentary seat after he won his case filed against him by SODELPA leader Viliame Gavoka.

And he has called on his leader to resign after this loss.

On Friday, Chief Justice Kamal Kumar dismissed the case against Mr Bulitavu and the matter was struck out.

Mr Bulitavu said he respected the ruling and to him, it was another achievement in his political career.

“This is not the first time I have been challenged,” he said.

“To God be the glory. I still have my seat in Parliament and so I will continue with the work as an MP and work towards the 2022 General Election.

“Where I will be standing for the election and when it comes near, I will have to make some political decisions,”Mr Bulitavu said.

“I thank my family, friends, supporters, and my lawyer Sushil Sharma for their help and prayers.”

Mr Gavoka and SODELPA were represented by lawyer Romanu Vananalagi.

Mr Bulitavu was represented by Labasa lawyer Mr Sharma.

SODELPA wanted Speaker Ratu Epeli Nailatikau to expel him for supporting the Budget and iTaukei Land Trust Act commonly known as Bill No. 17 of 2021.

 

What the ruling said

In his ruling in Parliament, the Speaker said that since he was unable to decide on how Mr Bulitavu voted on the 2021-2022 Budget and Bill No. 17, his seat as a Member of Parliament cannot be deemed vacant and he remains as a Member of Parliament.

Mr Gavoka was seeking a declaration that Mr Bulitavu’s seat as a Member of Parliament to become vacant.

He also sought an order for costs against Mr Buliavu on a solicitor/client indemnity basis, and/or further orders deemed just and fair in the circumstances to give effect to the declaration sought herein.

In his ruling, Chief Justice Kumar said found that no directive was issued by the SODELPA Management Board in terms of its Constitution for its MPs to vote against the Budget and Bill No. 17; if any directive was issued, then it was not communicated to SODELPA MPs in writing by the Party Leader/Parliamentary Leader as required under Clause 16.3(a) of SODELPA’s Constitution.

The court also found that even if the court held, that there was no such a directive which was communicated to Mr Bulitavu, no evidence was led to establish that Mr Bulitavu either voted in support of the Budget and Bill No. 17 or abstained from voting.

Chief Justice Kumar ordered that each party was to bear its own costs.

Mr Gavoka in a statement after the ruling said: “Yes, we lost before the Speaker of Parliament and the Chief Justice in the Court of Disputed Return, but it does not mean that we will let up in monitoring the performance of the parliamentarians in honouring their obligations to fight for issues important to SODELPA.

“If anything, they should know that we will go to this length at any time they fail to support the position of the party.”

ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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