13 May 2016

Fiji human rights group wants committee rules reversed

7:40 pm on 13 May 2016
Tara Chetty, Chief Executive of Fiji Women's Rights Movement.

Tara Chetty, the chair of the Fiji Coalition on Human Rights. Photo: RNZI / Sally Round

Human rights groups in Fiji are calling on the government to reverse rules which have seen the opposition removed from leading a key committee in parliament.

The government MP Ashneel Sudhakar was voted in as chair of the Public Accounts Committee on Thursday after parliament changed the requirement to have an opposition member in charge.

The FIJI NGO Coalition on Human Rights said February's amendment to Standing Order 117 removed an important check and balance on Fiji's financial governance.

The coalition's chair Tara Chetty said it was not about whether the new chair will do a good job.

She said the concern was that people's perception of the comittee's independence and credibility had been undermined.

The group said Fiji initially followed good governance best practice and the change was regressive.