8 Oct 2014

Fiji's new parliamentary chamber a "potent symbol"

11:01 am on 8 October 2014

The President of Fiji Ratu Epeli Nailatikau says there is potent symbolism in the return of Fiji's parliament to the site of Fiji's first coup.

The new 50 member parliament has moved back to the chamber which was stormed by soldiers 27 years ago, in the first of four coups d'etat.

Ratu Epeli reminded the MPs at their first sitting on Tuesday the newly-elected government of Timoci Bavadra was herded away at gunpoint in the beginning of a cycle of instability that has plagued Fiji and retarded its development.

He urged the legislators to work constructively in Fiji's new democracy and to adhere to the highest standards.

The president said the chamber had also seen some of the greatest events in Fijian history, including the first gathering of parliament after independence in 1970.

He said the parliamentary process had never been more transparent and the MPs more accountable.

He told the legislators they must never forget the Fijian people are listening and watching through radio, television or the internet.