28 Oct 2014

Elections first step towards democracy, say Fiji MPs

4:24 pm on 28 October 2014

A delegation of Fiji parliamentarians has begun a three-day visit to the New Zealand parliament.

Led by the Deputy Speaker, Ruveni Nadalo, the delegation includes the whips of both the government and the opposition.

An opposition member of the National Federation Party, Prem Sing, says the visit is important as Fiji has a long way to go to achieve a fully functioning parliamentary democracy.

"The elections are the first steps towards parliamentary democracy, so this is a very good learning lesson for a Parliament like Fiji where we have diverse interests. And we look forward to a culmination of all this our togetherness if we can effectively make some difference back home."

The government deputy whip Sankit Patel says to achieve this democracy there has to be some form of coordination between all parties.

"What we are trying to find out is how well we can coordinate and work together as a whole unit. As you are aware we have, we are back into parliamentary democracy after seven years and the good thing is we are now learning, how well and how effective we can run our country."

During their visit the MPs will observe proceedings in the Chamber, study the way in which committees operate, discuss the mechanisms used by the Parliament's Business Committee to arrange the Parliament's work and exchange experiences with their New Zealand counterparts as to the roles and functions of the whips.

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Photo: RNZI Koroi Hawkins