Draunidalo Out, Parmod Chand In?
The National Federation Party (NFP) does not have to play the victim with the suspension from Parliament of its president, Tupou Draunidalo. In fact, the NFP can still continue to have three members in Parliament if they are really worried about serving the people. Ms Draunidalo is suspended for the entire term. She was suspended for attributing comments to Education Minister Mahendra Reddy which were false and inflamed ethnic tensions on social media. All Ms Draunidalo has to do is to resign from Parlia-
If she does, this would open the opportunity for another NFP member to be sworn in as a Member of Parliament. The next one on the list is prominent Labasa bus company operator and former parliamentarian Parmod Chand. Ms Draunidalo’s resignation from Parliament would not mean that she would resign from the party. She could very well still be the president of the party.
Currently, there are talks within NFP that if there is a way in which another NFP member could sit in Parliament, it ought to be explored. When contacted yesterday Ms Draunidalo said: “I can only say to you what I have told other media and that is that we will have to discuss the issue (of suspension) with our lawyers before we can say anything. A statement would be released after that, which we will send to the Fiji Sun as well.” With Mr Chand coming in, the party would continue to have three members in Parliament and have their values and voters represented fully. In fact, one may question why SODELPA has not done the same with the suspension of Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu. But, it could be argued that his suspension would be lifted on May 22 next year and he will then be back in Parliament as a SODELPA MP. But with Ms Draunidalo her suspension is for the remainder of the term.