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Why Nacuva won't contest

Avinesh Gopal And Shayal Devi
Tuesday, March 18, 2014

PITA Nacuva will not contest the general election because he believes he is still the speaker of the House of Representatives.

Mr Nacuva was sworn in as Speaker of the House or Parliament on June 5, 2006, under the 1997 Constitution.

"To me, the 1997 Constitution is still in place although it's purported to have been abrogated in 2009," he said in an interview. "The Court of Appeal ruling in April 2009 testifies to that.

"I remain as Speaker until the new members of parliament are sworn in. That's my belief. I maintain my integrity.

"Therefore, I'm not contesting the elections because I'm still the Speaker of the House."

Mr Nacuva said he believed in ethics, honesty and abiding by the law, saying he based his morals on these.

"When someone is in parliament, he is called honourable because he's a person who has ethics and has integrity.

"I live by that principle because I swore under the 1997 Constitution to be the Speaker of the House.

"I have to follow what I swore in front of the parliament's secretary-general and other parliamentarians. They elected me unanimously as the Speaker."

Mr Nacuva said he served one term in parliament before being elected Speaker and that was enough for him.

"I turned 70 years last year and I worked in government for 30 years. You need to be aware of everything if you want to be a parliamentarian.

"It's not easy to be a Member of Parliament. You are not going to parliament to make your living, you are going to serve."

In his resume, he still lists his profession as Speaker and his contact address as the Speaker's Chambers, Parliament House.

Meanwhile, Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said Mr Nacuva was fully entitled to his opinion.

"The reality though is that we have a new Constitution," he said.

"And numerous appointments have been made through the new Constitution. The elections are going to be held by this Constitution as well.

"All members of parliament are to be appointed under this Constitution and that includes the Speaker of the House."


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