FLP response to Millis Beddoes on Public Accounts Committee

  • 18th March 2003
  • 2003
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Leader of opposition Millis Beddoes seems to have lost objectivity in his unrelenting but misguided quest to have Ms Ofa Swann installed as Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee, said FLP leader Mahendra Chaudhry.

“If he wants to take legal action against Mr Poseci Bune, the Speaker and the Secretary General to Parliament then he should do so in honourable fashion and stop his diatribe against them.

“Mr Beddoes acts as if he is the sole authority on the standing orders of Parliament and his interpretation of the relevant standing order is correct,” said Mr Chaudhry.

Mr Beddoes might want to explain why he declined an offer by FLP for him to chair the Public Accounts Committee. Why this compulsive urge to back Ms Swann? Is it because his own business commitments preclude him from taking up the position? asked Mr Chaudhry.

Ms Swann is deemed to be a government member by virtue of Mr Kenneth Zinck’s ministerial position in the SDL government. Both, the constitution and the Korolevu declaration are clear that a party which is part of government cannot have members in opposition.

Ms Swann’s NLUP has not taken any concrete action to have the matter of its legal status in parliament rectified after it lost its case against Mr Zinck’s purported expulsion from the party. So, Ms Swann cannot be recognised as an opposition MP, said Mr Chaudhry.

As for the FLP, Mr Beddoes well knows that we have been forced, for the time being, to take the opposition benches by a prime minister who seems to have scant regard for the constitution.

Mr Beddoes would do well to accept facts as they stand rather than try and work around it to push a weak case for his own nominee, Mr Chaudhry said.