The Fiji Labour Party is appalled by the Prime Minister’s comment to Members
of the Opposition in Parliament yesterday that they wouldn’t be in the House
if he hadn’t staged the coup in 2006.
FLP President Lavinia Padarath said Mr Bainimarama was speaking as though he had done Fiji
a great favour by staging the coup.
“He should be ashamed of himself for committing a treasonous act. To get the support of the people,
he had made many promises at the time of the Army takeover, none of which he delivered on,” she said.
While it was understandable that he should admonish Members for use of abusive language in the House, he himself needs to keep his dignity as befitting his high office.
“He showed disrespect to the Speaker by continuing to stand when she was addressing the House. Parliamentary etiquette demands a member, while on the floor, takes his seat when the Speaker is addressing the House,” she said.
Ms Padarath said she was also astounded to be told that the Prime Minister has instructed the Attorney General to field all parliamentary questions directed to him as Minister for I-Taukei Affairs.
“With all due respect, I remind the Prime Minister that under parliamentary democracy, he is accountable to the people and as such, it is his responsibility to respond on all matters pertaining to his ministerial portfolios.
“That is our expectations from him as Minister for I-Taukei Affairs. That has been the convention to date and I don’t see anything in the current Standing Orders to depart from that practice.
“We hope the Prime Minister does not think he is above answering questions from the Opposition in parliament,” Ms Padarath said.