29 Sep 2014

All parties have say in Fiji parliamentary year

6:50 am on 29 September 2014

A parliamentary development expert helping Fiji set up its parliament says all political parties will have a say in determining its calendar for the year.

The first sitting of Fiji's new parliament is scheduled for October the 6th and technically under the constitution it could sit for just two days a year.

Dafyn Jones of the United Nations Development Programme says the calendar of sittings will be decided by a business committee of parliament comprising all political parties.

"Very unusually in the Pacific, and it's a good thing, the parliament will have a clear one year plan if you like of the sittings or an outline of when parliament will sit which will help members of parliament, civil society, government and others plan their work in a much better way. So this is a very positive element of the new rules of procedure."

Mr Jones says parliament must also meet if at least one third of MPs want to discuss an issue of national importance.

Fiji's refurbished parliament, a stone building with clock tower at entrance

Fiji's refurbished parliament, Suva Photo: RNZ / Philippa Tolley