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Parliament

Speaker dismisses petition, Opposition walks out

February 18, 2020 12:55 pm
Speaker of Parliament Ratu Epeli Nailatikau this morning dismissed a petition on the basis that it did not meet the requirements.

Speaker of Parliament Ratu Epeli Nailatikau this morning dismissed a petition on the basis that it did not meet the requirements.

The petition was submitted by Opposition MP Viliame Gavoka which called for a holistic review by the Standing Committee on Natural Resources on the proposed mining project at the Sigatoka River.

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“It is my ruling that regardless of the issue of contention, this petition cannot be tabled in parliament as in each instance, it seeks action which is not within the powers of Parliament to take.”

As part of his ruling, the Speaker also further elaborated on the standards of petitions and the requirements that are needed in order for it to be appropriately considered.


Opposition members

“Again I remind Honourable Members that the use of petitions in Parliament for such a purpose is fundamentally and legally flawed and ignores the fact that by written law, Parliament has given the authority to the relevant officer to make the decision.”

Speaker’s Ruling in relation to Petitions received

Opposition MP Viliame Gavoka than called for a point of order.


Opposition members

Gavoka “The situation in Sigatoka is grave”

Speaker “Honourable Member when I am making a ruling, you do not interfere, that should be clear to you, you’ve been a member of long standing, I respect that, but you’ve got to respect the procedures of the House.”


Opposition members

Following which all Opposition members than walked out.

The Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum than raised a point of order that despite the Speaker’s ruling, the Opposition’s actions of yet another walkout was disrespectful and that the Speaker should consider a sanction against the members to deter against such action.

In response the Speaker said it was not the first time he had experienced such a walkout and that in a previous example he had allowed time for the members to reconsider their actions.

He then suspended the proceedings for morning tea.

Meanwhile, two other petitions submitted by Lynda Tabuya were yesterday withdrawn.

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