Editorial comment – Path Forward

Newly sworn in Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama recites his oath during his swearing in ceremony at the Government House in Suva on Tuesday, November 20, 2018. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

NOW that the election results are out, and our Prime Minister confirmed for another four-year term, interest is slowly shifting to the make-up of our new Parliament.

PM Voreqe Bainimarama’s FijiFirst party dominate our Parliament with 27 seats as opposed to Sitiveni Rabuka’s Social Democratic Liberal Party’s 21 seats and Professor Biman Prasad’s National Federation Party with three seats.

PM Bainimarama made it clear on Tuesday that he was ready to lead the country after he took the oath or affirmation of allegiance and office before the President Jioji Konrote.

Yesterday, there were no objections from the SODELPA caucus when it nominated Mr Rabuka as leader of the Opposition to Parliament.

Mr Rabuka said he was confident of his appointment and he was ready to take on the role.

Mr Rabuka revealed the party had formulated a memorandum of understanding (MOU).

The MOU, he said, focused on how SODELPA would work with the NFP.

The 21-member caucus held its fi rst meeting in Suva yesterday.

Prof Prasad insisted while the 2018 General Election was over, there were still problems facing Fiji that needed urgent attention.

He reached out to the FijiFirst Government.

NFP, he offered, was ready to assist in addressing critical issues facing the nation.

“We can fi x these problems faster if we work together,” he suggested.

“If the Government wishes to work positively with the Opposition parties on Fiji’s problems, we are ready. We will do it from the Opposition.”

The Government’s job, he said, was to accept scrutiny and criticism and to change where needed.

“That is what democratic governments do.”

The revelation that both the PM and Mr Rabuka are ready to play their part does inch out great interest.

Under the 2013 Constitution, in Section 67 (1), after a general election of members of Parliament, the Parliament shall be summoned to meet by the President no later than 14 days after the announcement of the results of the general elections.

What we have before us right now are leaders who are prepared to play their part and live up to the expectations of the voters.

The challenge for them is to chart paths that will positively move us forward as a nation, embracing different views and positions

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