Leader of the Opposition
Parliament House

[No 6/10/2014]

‘SODELPA Shadow Minister for iTaukei Affairs, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, said in a statement today that less than three weeks after the first sitting of the new Parliament the Prime Minister, who promised to take care of all, has for the second time threatened the cancellation of government development for those citizens who did not vote for him.’

Reacting to the front page stories of The Fiji Times and Fiji Sun [Oct 26th] Ratu Naiqama said the comments attributed to Prime Minister Bainimarama are in breach of the constitution.

They violate Sec 1 (a), (d), (e) and (f) covering Common and equal citizenry, and Sec 26 of the Bill of Rights (1), (2) and (3) covering Right to equality and freedom from discrimination.

“This latest and outrageous threat by the Prime Minister gives people a real sense of the type of government now in office,” Ratu Naiqama Said. “It is consistent with what he did in early 2013 with the Tui Vitogo and his people. It is similar to the threat he made to Hon Niko Nawaikula’s supporters. Are we to assume the provisions for equality in the 2013 constitution have been abandoned?

By his utterances in the North, the Prime Minister is effectively putting Fiji First voter’s interests ahead of all other citizens creating two classes of citizens. What I want to know Ratu Naiqama said, was how does he know who did not vote for him? What does he have from the Elections office that will allow him to identify who did or did not vote for him? No names or numbers were on the ballot papers?

“Development funds come from all taxpayers of Fiji as well as foreign donors. These are not the personal funds of PM Bainimarama to do with as he pleases. He should understand this by now. Taxpayers include many who did not vote for Frank Bainimarama and his Fiji First Party. They have equal rights for their tax dollars to be used for their wellbeing.”

Ratu Naiqama called on all foreign aid donors to take heed of the stated position of the Prime Minister and be sure to secure guarantees that the funds they give to Fiji for the benefit of all the people, are not used primarily to benefit only Fiji First supporters.

Ratu Naiqama said foreign countries would do well to tread cautiously when re-establishing relations with the Government. It appears to be following the same path of bad and vindictive governance that marked the last eight years.

Ratu Naiqama has called on the Attorney General and Minister for Justice to take appropriate action against the Prime Minister for his breach of the constitution. The Opposition will be following up in Parliament on this extraordinary threat from the Prime Minister.

Authorized By: Hon Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu

Opposition Chambers
Parliament House