The Social Democratic Liberal Party SODELPA), one of the coalition parties in the Fiji Government, has expressed disappointment over the non-fulfilment of certain promises outlined in the Fiji coalition agreement prior to forming Government.
And now, SODELPA vice-president Anare Jale is calling for an urgent inter party committee sitting to allow members to air their grievances on these issues.
According to Jale, SODELPA’s lack of representation on various boards, and being kept in the dark about diplomatic postings, was highlighted by members during its management board meeting last Friday.
“We want that committee to sit and to hear out the concerns of SODELPA, in terms of the agreement that was signed,” Jale said.
“We feel that some of the things promised in the agreement have not been implemented so far.
“That’s the concern. We want dialogue, we want to talk to the other two parties, we want to talk to The People’s Alliance (PA) party and also the National Federation Party (NFP), who are partners with SODELPA in the coalition.”
He said the two “most pressing matters” were the appointment of board members and diplomatic positions, as was promised in the agreement signed on 30 December.
“We were promised to be given board membership in all of those organisations, but very few has been given to us until now.
“And secondly, the appointments to diplomatic positions.
“It’s been ages now. We have submitted names of people that we identify to take up the positions that were promised to us.
“We agreed that we will provide names of people to take up the embassy in the United States of America in Washington DC, the one in UK (United Kingdom) and the Roving Ambassador.
“So, we submitted names, and nothing has been received until now. This is a promise, it is not something we negotiated.
“Those are the concerns that are coming from members and that’s the reason why we’re calling for the sitting of the inter party committee of the Coalition Government.”
Jale said they would pursue other options if their grievances were not addressed.
“There are options there, so if the other two parties can’t deal business with us then they need to tell us openly and they need to tell us straight that they can’t do business with us.
“We’ve already specified the time (for the meeting) and this time, I’ll write to the Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka and copy Professor Biman Prasad from NFP.”
Responding to the statement, Prof Prasad said he agreed with Jale that the inter party committee should meet.
Questions sent to the Office of the Prime Minister remained unanswered when the Fiji Times article was published.
The inter party committee is comprised of two representatives from each of the three parties in the Coalition Government.
It is meant to deal with issues that affect the coalition agreement or the unity of the three parties.
Meanwhile, the office of the Speaker of the Fiji Parliament received correspondence from the Acting Registrar of Political Parties Friday conveying that the FijiFirst Party has complied with the requirements of section 26 of the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosures) Act 2013 and therefore, the FijiFirst Party’s suspension is lifted with immediate effect from Friday,0 9 June 2023.
In light of the lifting of the suspension of the registration of the FijiFirst Party, all 24 members can resume participation in all the proceedings of Parliament or any committee of Parliament including participating in all related activities such as representing Parliament in meetings, workshops, seminars, conferences, assemblies, and so forth.
In addition, all remuneration and entitlements to the 24 members of the FijiFirst Party are no longer suspended and will resume with immediate effect.
The Business Committee also met Friday and has unanimously approved that the Parliamentary business scheduled for 12 – 16 June 2023 be deferred until further notice.
This deferment is to allow the Coalition Government to ensure the efficient and effective preparation of the 2023-2024 National Budget, before it is tabled in Parliament.
In another development, the National Federation Party (NFP) will appoint a new general secretary at its annual general meeting in August.
Incumbent Seini Nabou said she would relinquish the position at the AGM.
“I am on leave without pay until the AGM, where I will resign officially as a professional and courteous thing to do, as the AGM appointed me,” she said.
Nabou was appointed to the post in 2019.
She was recently appointed as board member of Fiji Television Ltd as a Fijian Holdings Limited nominee.
“Until very recently, Nabou was the general secretary for the National Federation Party where she was the first iTaukei woman to hold the position,” stated the Fiji TV release on the South Pacific Stock Exchange.
SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/FIJI PARLIAMENT/PACNEWS