6 July, 2017, 12:00 am
THE Minister for Education, Heritage, Arts and National Archives of Fiji, Dr Mahendra Reddy, has resigned from his position.
But he will still remain as a Member of Parliament.
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama confirmed Dr Reddy’s resignation in a statement last evening and said he had accepted it in accordance with the Constitution.
Dr Reddy wrote to Mr Bainimarama yesterday regarding his resignation.
“In order to preserve the reputation of Government, I wish to step aside by resigning as Minister for Education, Heritage, Arts and National Archives of Fiji while the charges laid by FICAC against me are heard,” he wrote.
“This is a private matter and I need to clear my name without causing a distraction from the great work the FijiFirst Government is doing for the Fijian people.”
Mr Bainimarama said he would announce the appointment of an Acting Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts in due course.
He said until the charges laid by FICAC are determined by the court, Dr Reddy shall remain as an MP.
Dr Reddy appeared in the Magistrates Court in Suva on Tuesday after being charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption.
He is charged with one count of bribery contrary to Section 140 (2) of the Electoral Act No. 11 of 2014 and one count of undue influence contrary to Section 141 of the Electoral Act No. 11 of 2014.
It is alleged that Dr Reddy tried to influence the vote of a school manager by directly conferring to offer a benefit, namely a steady water source for the school.
Dr Reddy was released on a $500 bail by the court and the case has been adjourned to July 19.