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Voters should choose new MP via by-election: Dr Samisoni

Timoci Vula
Thursday, March 08, 2018

Update: 12:30PM NEWLY-sworn in MP Dr Mere Samisoni says the method of unilaterally choosing to fill vacancies in Parliament is not a democratic one.

The SODELPA MP made this comment in her maiden speech she delivered in Parliament yesterday, noting her occupation of the parliamentary seat came as a result of the untimely death of the late Ratu Sela Nanovo.

Dr Samisoni said she felt duty-bound to make that comment, reasoning it denied the people the right to vote in a by-election.

She said such elections provided a valuable snapshot of voter opinion between national polls.

"We cannot assume that their feelings are static. The public mood changes," Dr samisoni said. 

"Therefore, when a vacancy does occur between elections, voters should be allowed to decide their new MP. 

"That is what democracy is about; to update information and service delivery to the people. 

"It is not about keeping the existing numbers in Parliament as they are."

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