Two Opposition Members of Parliament have been appointed chairpersons of respective Standing Committees of Parliament.
FijiFirst MP Viliame Naupoto was elected as the Chairperson for the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence while government MP Lenora Qereqeretabua is Deputy Chairperson for this Committee.
Naupoto says he is honored to be elected as the Chairperson and looks forward to carrying out his responsibilities.
He says he understands the important work of the Committee as he has appeared before it in the past in his capacity as Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces.
FijiFirst MP Inia Seruiratu was also elected as the Chairperson for the Standing Committee on Natural Resources, while the Assistant Minister for i-Taukei Affairs, Isikeli Tuiwailevu, has been appointed as the Deputy Chairperson.
This is a rare appointment, as in the previous government administration, such roles would only be spearheaded by government members.
The Assistant Minister for Finance, Esrom Immanuel, is the Chairperson for the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, and the Assistant Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Sakiusa Tubuna, will be the Deputy Chairperson.
Assistant Minister for Tourism Alitia Bainivalu is the Chairperson for the Standing Committee on Social Affairs, and Assistant Minister for Home Affairs Ratu Rakuita Vakalalabure is the Deputy Chairperson.
The Assistant Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Sakiusa Tubuna, is the Chairperson for the Standing Committee on Economic Affairs, and the Assistant Minister for Women, Children, and Poverty Alleviation, Sashi Kiran, is the Deputy Chairperson.
As announced by the Speaker of Parliament, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, in the last sitting week of Parliament, 68 annual reports, one treaty, and 21 committee reports are pending with the respective standing committees.
The six Standing Committees are responsible for examining bills referred by the Parliament, examining subordinate legislation tabled in Parliament, scrutinizing the operations of government departments, considering petitions and papers presented, reviewing international treaties and conventions ratified by the Government, and performing any other functions and duties as conferred.