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Speaker to rule on AG's census response

Lice Movono
Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Update: 3:04PM FIJI'S Speaker of Parliament Dr Jiko Luveni is expected to make a ruling this afternoon following a point of order raised by the Opposition alleging Attorney General and Minister for Justice Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum knowingly presented incorrect information in Parliament about the census.

The point of order that Opposition MP Biman Prasad raised alleges the AG under Standing Order 58(3)(a) and (b).

"Madam Speaker on Monday, 5th March 2018 during the question time pertaining to my Leader of Opposition's question regarding the 2017 Census, I followed up with a supplementary question, which then led to the Honourable Attorney General and Chief Legal Advisor to Government, blatantly misleading this august House that no ethnic data was collected by the 2017 Census enumerators," MP Prasad said in Parliament today.

According to unedited Hansard reports, the AG had responded to Mr Prasad's supplementary question to say: "No such data was collected. He needs to understand that there has been no aggregation of data based on ethnicity under the 2000 and 2017 Census none whatsoever. They need to move away from that, they think we are hiding it, we are not hiding it. There was no collection of data."

Mr Prasad said the AG's response was allegedly misleading and brought dishonour and disrepute to Parliament because;

(1) There was no census done in 2000. There was a Census done in 2007.

(2) In the 2007 census, there is public information readily available that clearly shows aggregation of data based on ethnicity.

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