27 Apr 2017

Fiji govt reiterates supremacy of Speaker

9:28 am on 27 April 2017

The Fiji government has stressed the Speaker is the final judge on what can be brought up in parliament.

The Leader of Government in the legislature Inia Seruiratu was responding to an opposition complaint the government was stifling debate in parliament.

The opposition leader, Ro Teimumu Kepa, said through the Parliament Business Committee, the government was imposing severe restrictions on the type of questions, motions and petitions that could be tabled.

Fiji's Opposition leader Ro Teimumu Kepa.

Ro Teimumu says the government is stifling debate Photo: RNZI / Sally Round

She said the government allows only motions that do not criticise the government or are unlikely to gather the support of the public against it.

Ro Teimumu said it's a serious interference with the democratic process and she plans to raise the issue with other parliaments, UN agencies and the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

Fiji's Speaker of Parliament, Dr Jiko Luveni

Fiji's Speaker, Dr Jiko Luveni Photo: Fiji Department of Information