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A-G did not mislead Parliament, Speaker Luveni rules

Luke Nacei
Thursday, March 08, 2018

Update: 4:07PM FIJI'S Parliament Speaker Dr Jiko Luveni has ruled against a Point Of Order raised by National Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad on Wednesday accusing Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum of allegedly breaching parliamentary laws.

Professor Prasad raised the Point of Order in relation to a statement made by the A-G during Monday's Parliament sitting where he said there was no ethnicity data collected and that Prof Prasad needed to understand there had been no aggregation of data based on ethnicity under the 2000 and 2017 census.

"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 Sayed-Khaiyum had told Parliament on Monday this week.

In his Point of Order, Prof Prasad said there was no census done in 2000, but there was a census conducted in 2007 and information readily available clearly showed aggregation of data based on ethnicity.

He said the statement by the A-G allegedly misled and brought dishonour and disrepute to Parliament.

In her ruling, Dr Luveni said there were three elements that must be established in order to show that a member deliberately misled Parliament.

And these, she said included the statement must in fact have been misleading; secondly the member must have known that at the time it was made, the statement was incorrect; and lastly, in making the statement, the member must have intended to mislead Parliament.

"In making my ruling, I have not only considered the uncorrected copy of the daily Hansard, but I have also watched the video of the sitting of Parliament on Monday 5th March and for the sake of completeness, I had also watched the video of the proceedings of Parliament of Wednesday 6th March, 2018, where the Point of Order was raised by Honourable Prasad.

"Having watched the proceedings of Parliament, it was quite clear that the uncorrected copy of the daily Hansard on Monday 5th March, 2018, which Honourable Prasad referred to was incorrect," Dr Luveni said.

She added the A-G did not make any reference whatsoever to the 2000 census.

"It is my ruling that the Honourable Attorney General did not mislead Parliament nor did he bring dishonour and disrepute to this august House."

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