PM: I'M SORRY

TIKO­D­UADUA RE­FUSES TO APOL­O­GISE. HE IS SUS­PENDED FOR SIX MONTHS.

Fiji Sun - - Front Page - SELITA BOLANAVANU­A

Prime Min­is­ter Voreqe Bain­i­marama last night apol­o­gised in Par­lia­ment over an in­ci­dent in­volv­ing Op­po­si­tion MP Pio Tiko­d­uadua.

His apology came at the end of a day of drama, which in­cluded an Op­po­si­tion walk­out. Mr Bain­i­marama com­plied with a Priv­i­leges Com­mit­tee re­port passed by Par­lia­ment that he and Mr Tiko­d­uadua apol­o­gise to each other, Par­lia­ment and the Speaker or face six months sus­pen­sion. Mr Tiko­d­uadua re­fused to apol­o­gise, say­ing it was a mat­ter of prin­ci­ple, his honour and con­science. Mr Bain­i­marama, how­ever,

I fully ad­mit that I mo­men­tar­ily and spon­ta­neously let my emo­tions, and my love of fam­ily, get the bet­ter of me. Re­gard­less, Mr Speaker I of­fer my unreserved apolo­gies to him, to my col­leagues, to the Par­lia­ment and, to you, Mr Speaker, for my ac­tions. Voreqe Bain­i­marama Prime Min­is­ter

ad­mit­ted that his ac­tions were not ap­pro­pri­ate and the in­ci­dent should not have hap­pened.

He said, soon af­ter the in­ci­dent, he re­alised his mis­take and im­me­di­ately went to the Speaker of Par­lia­ment to of­fer his apolo­gies to him, Par­lia­ment and Mr Tiko­d­uadua.

“It is un­for­tu­nate that Hon. Tiko­d­uadua was not avail­able to re­ceive my apology in per­son, nor has he made him­self avail­able in sub­se­quent at­tempts.” He said Mr Tiko­d­uadua was a man he had known for decades. “A man who once served as my PSO be­fore, dur­ing and af­ter the events of 2000 and sub­se­quently as my Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary,” he said.

He said Mr Tiko­d­uadua be­came a se­nior mem­ber of his Cab­i­net in the Fi­jiFirst Gov­ern­ment af­ter the his­tor­i­cal elec­tions in 2014.

“As my PSO he spent many hours in my home, with my fam­ily. He is a man I once felt was part of my fam­ily.

“He was a com­rade in many changes we brought about in Fiji. We have a his­tory.”

He said now they found them­selves on dif­fer­ent sides of the po­lit­i­cal aisle, but their his­tory as friends and col­leagues, “taken with a state­ment he made about my fam­ily, are why I re­acted as I did the morn­ing of Fri­day Au­gust 9, 2019”.

“I fully ad­mit that I mo­men­tar­ily and spon­ta­neously let my emo­tions, and my love of fam­ily, get the bet­ter of me. “Re­gard­less, Mr Speaker I of­fer my unreserved apolo­gies to him, to my col­leagues, to the Par­lia­ment and, to you, Mr Speaker, for my ac­tions.” Mr Bain­i­marama added that he re­gret­ted that the event had caused a dis­trac­tion from the vi­tal work of the Par­lia­ment in ad­vanc­ing the well­be­ing of all Fi­jians.

“I look for­ward to get­ting back to the na­tional busi­ness of this au­gust Par­lia­ment and to uphold­ing the high stan­dards of con­duct the Fi­jian peo­ple de­serve and ex­pect from those elected to serve their in­ter­ests.”

Photo: Kel­era So­vasiga

WALK­OUT... Op­po­si­tion leader Si­tiveni Rabuka (right) out­side Par­lia­ment last night af­ter the vote.

Photo: Kel­era So­vasiga

WALK­OUT... Op­po­si­tion mem­bers Pio Tiko­d­uadua (left) and Bi­man Prasad out­side Par­lia­ment last night af­ter the vote.

Photo: Ron­ald Ku­mar

Prime Min­is­ter Voreqe Bain­i­marama out­side Par­lia­ment on Septem­ber 6, 2019.

Photo: Ron­ald Ku­mar

Prime Min­is­ter Voreqe Bain­i­marama.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Fiji

© PressReader. All rights reserved.