Appointment of President of the Republic of Fiji
Wednesday 5th September 2018
The National Federation Party is deeply disappointed at the total lack of consensus and dialogue between both Government and the Opposition as well as the main opposition party of SODELPA with NFP regarding the appointment of the President in Parliament tomorrow.
NFP Leader, Professor Biman Prasad says apart from the flawed process in convening parliament, the total lack of consultation to achieve unanimity on a single candidate for the Office of the President between Government and the Opposition as well as SODELPA and NFP does not augur well for the President that as Head of State symbolizes national unity and harmony.
“On a matter of highest significance to Fiji, Government has ignored the Opposition, despite the constitutional provisions allowing both sides to nominate a candidate”.
“Yet on the issue of exorbitantly increasing parliamentary allowances for MPs and per diems for the Prime Minister and Cabinet Minister enriching all of them personally, both Fiji First and SODELPA demonstrated bipartisanship on 29th September 2016”.
“This is the kind of parliamentary democracy we have witnessed since October 2014, culminating into a façade where less than 48 hours’ notice was given to MPs to attend parliament to appoint the President who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Army”.
“We also make it clear that we disassociate ourselves from a statement issued by the Opposition Office today. We were not part of any discussions on the Opposition’s position and are not even aware of who SODELPA’s nominee will be”.
“Similarly, we do not know who the Prime Minister will nominate for Presidency. While the PM travels around the world harping on about Talanoa, dialogue and consensus when reaching solutions to tackle Climate Change, Government cannot practice what it preaches where it is needed the most – in the highest court of the land”.
“We will attend parliament tomorrow because our voters expect us to represent them in the People’s House. While we would like to see our current President be nominated for a second term because he is eligible for re-appointment, provided he is willing to serve as our Head of State for another three years, we also do not know who Government’s nominee will be”.
“We will make our position known in Parliament tomorrow.
Professor Biman Prasad