Prime Minister apologises, Tikoduadua suspended for six months
September 7, 2019 7:45 am
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama [left], Pio Tikoduadua and Biman Prasad
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has apologised for his actions against National Federation Party President Pio Tikoduadua, as ordered by the Privileges Committee.
Tikoduadua who earlier refused to apologize is now suspended for six months from parliament.
Bainimarama saying his actions on August 9th were unfortunate and reactive.
“I fully admit that I momentarily and spontaneously let my emotions and the love of my family get the better of me. My actions were not appropriate and should not have happened Indeed Mr Speaker Sir, soon after the incident had happened I realised my mistake and came to you immediately and to apologise to you, to parliament and Honourable Tikoduadua.”
Bainimarama also adding he had known Tikoduadua for a long time and the events of the day hurt him.
“Hon. Tikoduadua is a man I’ve known for decades – a man who once served as my PSO before, during and after the events of 2000 and subsequently as my Permanent Secretary. He of course then became a senior member of my cabinet in the FijiFirst Government after the historical elections in 2014. As my PSO he spent many hours in my home, with my family. He is a man I once felt was part of my family. He was a comrade in many changes we brought about in Fiji. We have a history. Today, we find ourselves on different sides of the political aisle. But our history as friends and colleagues, taken with a statement he made about my family, are why I reacted as I did the morning of Friday 9 August 2019. ”
He says it is unfortunate that Tikoduadua was not available to receive his apology in person after Opposition Members walked out of parliament, before he was delivered his apology.
” I offer my unreserved apologies to him, to my colleagues, to the parliament and to you Mr Speaker Sir for my actions. I regret his events have caused the distractions from the vital work of the parliament in advancing the wellbeing of all Fijians. I look forward to getting back to the national business of this August Parliament and to upholding the highest standards of conduct that the Fijians people deserve and expect from those elected to serve the interest. “
NFP Leader Professor Biman Prasad says they support the actions of Tikoduadua and are unhappy with the process followed to address the matter of the altercation.