21 Feb 2020

Fiji's AG dismisses claim that govt favours expats as 'hocus pocus'

10:49 am on 21 February 2020

Fiji's attorney general has accused an Opposition MP of xenophobia for claiming the government appoints foreigners over locals.

Fiji's attorney general,  Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Fiji's attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Photo: AFP/Dominika Zarzycka/NurPhoto

MP Niko Nawaikula has accused the government of using its Open Merit Recruitment System to remove indigenous Fijians from top positions.

Responding to Mr Nawaikula in Parliament this week, Aiyaz Saiyed-Khaiyum said four of the 21 permanent secretaries in the civil service were expatriates and three were dual Fiji citizens.

The attorney general said if Mr Nawaikula had a problem with expatriates he should also question the appointment of national rugby coaches such as Ben Ryan and Gareth Baber.

"What is the big hocus pocus about it? Everybody has the right to apply. We want the right person for the right job. We want the output."