FijiFirst brushes off ‘two-man rule’ comment

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum at the budget consultation held at the FNU in Suva on Thursday, June 23, 2022. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

FijiFirst party (FF) general secretary Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum brushed off comments by political party leaders of Government being under a “two-man rule” in reference to himself and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

“We don’t go and say ‘what’s happening in National Federation Party’ nor the internal matter of any other party,” he said at a news conference this week.

The Fiji Times had asked him to respond to criticism from political parties that FF was ruled by two men and claims there has been no annual general meeting (AGM) conducted for the party.

While delivering his maiden speech in Parliament in December, 2018, National Federation Party (NFP) president and Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua spoke about the “two-man rule”.

During the signing of the memorandum of understanding between The People’s Alliance party and NFP earlier this year, PA leader Sitiveni Rabuka said “the MOU underscores the vast differences between our parties and the two people controlling the Government”.

NFP leader Professor Biman Prasad echoed similar sentiments in his response to political sociologist Prof Steven Ratuva’s comments that all big political parties in the 2022 General Election would not be able to form government.

He said the PA-NFP coalition provided the “best and most viable alternative to rid Fiji of the two-man rule of FijiFirst”.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum, however, said FijiFirst did not make it a habit of delving into the internal issues of other political parties.

“We don’t go and say ‘what’s happening in NFP’, we don’t say ‘oh the meeting in SODELPA was not correctly held’.

“We don’t say that PAP (The People’s Alliance party) is not doing the right thing within their own party because that is an internal matter.

“They can say, of course, that ‘Rabuka is a lone ranger’ as far as PAP is concerned, you don’t cover that. So let’s talk about policies, let’s talk about what we have delivered and let’s talk about it in terms of what our objectives are.”

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