Stop attacking independent institutions: AG

September 2, 2022 4:31 pm

Ro Filipe Tuisawau [left] and Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum [Source: Parliament of the Republic of Fiji]

Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has called on the Opposition to stop attacking and undermining independent institutions.

He was responding to Opposition MP Ro Filipe Tuisawau’s end-of-week statement in parliament this morning.

In his statement, Ro Filipe claimed that institutions such as the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission, FICAC, Online Safety Commission, Electoral Commission, Fijian Elections Office and MIDA are not independent.

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He went on to further claim that the only independent institution in the country is the Office of the Auditor General.

Ro Filipe claims the Judiciary is also not independent.

“There’s a general lack of confidence in the judiciary and a need for an independent review by internationally recognized bodies to make recommendations and bring back confidence.”

In response Sayed-Khaiyum refuted the claims stating these institutions have separate budget items.

“We have one line items that have been allocated to these independent bodies and the reason why they have one line items is because they have the ability to look after their own finances, it’s not set out by the government machinery and in that way they are truly independent.”

Sayed-Khaiyum also stated in Parliament that the Opposition attacks these institutions when decisions do not go in their favor.