Fiji: Committee to decide on MP's fate

AGORA moderator's picture

THE Parliamentary Privileges Committee last night deliberated on the action(s) if any, against National Federation Party (NFP) MP Roko Tupou Draunidalo for calling Education Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy an idiot in the House on Wednesday.

Speaker Dr Jiko Luveni referred the matter to the committee after it was brought to her attention by Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Roko Tupou's comments were based on an exchange in the House where Dr Reddy made inferences at the Opposition repeatedly stating he could not "see any toppers on the other side (Opposition side)".

To this, the NFP president responded to a point of order raised by Mr Sayed-Khaiyum saying, "he (Dr Reddy) provided worse in his speech, calling us dumb natives".

She then uttered "you idiot" to the minister.

While referring the matter to the committee, Dr Luveni said privileges were accorded to everyone in this House as a matter of right.

"Standing Order 133 which states that every member and any other person speaking in Parliament have freedom of speech and debate in Parliament subject to these Standing Orders," she said.

"Therefore, any member can say whatever in this House, but whatever you say in Parliament is subject to the Standing Orders."

She said the dignity and respect of the House must be upheld at all times.

The committee will revert to Parliament today with its report. It was still meeting as of 9pm last night when this edition went to press.