4 Sep 2019

Upheaval of Privileges Committee considering Fiji PM shoving incident

3:19 pm on 4 September 2019

Fiji's Privileges Committee considering conflict between the Prime Minister and an MP has seen the departure of both the Attorney General and the Opposition Leader.

Frank Bainimarama and Pio Tikoduadua

Frank Bainimarama and Pio Tikoduadua Photo: AFP and CC BY-SA 4.0

The committee is considering both an alleged personal attack by Pio Tikoduadua against the Prime Minister and also physical altercations between Mr Bainimarama and the MP.

Sitiveni Rabuka wrote a letter to the speaker questioning the Attorney-General's involvement and made allegations that Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum is prejudging the matter and is not impartial.

Mr Rabuka said after he received the speaker's response he also decided to withdraw from the committee.

"And I did not call on him [the AG] to stand down. I said that he was compromised in his position as he had made a statement earlier to the press.

"And when I went into the Committee today a member of the Privileges Committee raised the point that I had also made a statement to the press and objected to my being on the Committee. So, I recused myself."

Mr Rabuka would not be drawn on whether the Prime Minister's leadership is under threat by the committee's scrutiny, saying it depends on what they come up with.

Mr Rabuka said a committee report is due back to the house on Thursday.

The Prime Minister is expected to appear before the committee today.

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