Speaker clarifies his role
September 20, 2021 12:25 pm
Speaker of Parliament, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau says he is there to facilitate debate.
He made the comments while addressing insinuations against the Office of the Speaker and the Parliament Secretariat in the media.
The National Federation Party had earlier said that the parliamentary democracy has been reduced to a facade by the alleged actions of the Speaker.
The Party claims the rejection of their motions and questions submitted to the Secretariat and Tables Office shows that parliament under the Speaker’s leadership is doing the bidding for the government.
Ratu Epeli says the action of the Speaker and the Secretariat are in accordance with the Standing Orders of Parliament.
He says the Speaker has not prevented debate on the floor.
“When questions and motions are submitted the secretariat conducts an extensive vetting process with the provisions of the standing order. This also involves continuous consultation with the respective parties represented in parliament.”
Ratu Epeli says the Speaker is also involved in this process.
He says it is important to note that during the vetting process – questions and motions which do not meet the requirement of the Standing Order and decisions of the Business Committee are ruled out of order.