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SPEAKER: No links to FijiFirst

Nasik Swami
Tuesday, May 02, 2017

SPEAKER of Parliament Dr Jiko Luveni says she has severed all ties with the FijiFirst party by her resigning from the party when she was nominated the Speaker of the House.

After renewed claims for her to resign from her position as the head of the Parliament from political leaders who questioned her impartiality, Dr Luveni said she was no longer a member of the FijiFirst party and had nothing to do with its internal affairs.

In an interview yesterday, she said she was strongly cognisant of the need to always take decisions and utterances that were totally absent of perceived party or personal bias.

Dr Luveni said she respected and upheld the provisions of the Constitution and would not show preference or disrespect for any political party and that all Members of the Parliament must be treated equally.

She said she was well aware of the provisions of the Constitution under Section 77 which provided that the position was independent and impartial.

These, Dr Luveni said she had upheld in her rulings and in adherence to the Standing Orders.

"In many foreign parliaments, the Speaker is a party politician, and the same is true in Australia, New Zealand and many parliaments of the Commonwealth.

"In the New Zealand parliament, the Speaker is allowed to maintain links with his political party."

Dr Luveni affirmed that her impartiality in conducting the business of the House was well guaranteed in her adherence to the provisions of the Standing Orders and in her belief that she had a job to deliver effectively in order to maintain the confidence of the Parliament.

She said she was nominated by the Government on October 6, 2014 to be the Speaker of the House, and the Opposition did not submit any nomination.

Dr Luveni said over the years, she had ruled out both Opposition and Government for not complying with the Standing Orders.

"When points of Order are raised, the Speaker can only make a ruling if she is able to correct the misdemeanour in Parliament when a Member of Parliament is targeted, however, if the effect of the misdemeanour will affect the population (viewers) then this cannot be corrected in Parliament but is an issue that can be raised by a Member of Parliament for referral to the Privileges Committee."

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