Former Prime Minister and SODELPA Leader Sitiveni Rabuka has been elected as the Leader of the Opposition.
Former Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa nominated Rabuka for the post while the National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad seconded the motion.
Following the appointment of the leader of opposition, government made a motion to adopt the Parliamentary Standing Orders.
The Leader of Opposition Sitiveni Rabuka led the opposition’s charge in opposing the adoption of the Parliamentary Standing Orders as it stands, after it was moved by Minister for Defence and National Security, Inia Seruiratu.
The Standing Orders lays out the rules for the order and conduct of business and proceedings of parliament.
“We have just taken our oath and we said this morning in our oath that we will defend the rights of the people. One feature of the standing order being presented for us to adopt is the absence of the night of the people to present efficiency into the house as is the normal practice of democracy.” – Leader of Opposition Sitiveni Rabuka
Opposition member Niko Nawaikula backed his leader stating it would be totally wrong to be supporting the adoption of the standing orders in the shape and form as it is.
Minister for Infrastructure Jone Usamate fired back saying the opposition is misleading the people as they did during the election campaign period.
“It’s a shame that at the beginning of this new parliamentary session we are already starting with this mistrusts trying to represent what happens in parliament is not being democratic. Section 37 clearly states that there is a procedure for petitions to be allowed to be addressed.” Minister for Infrastructure Jone Usamate.
The motion was passed in parliament with 26 MPs supporting the motion and 21 MPs voting against it. Four MPs did not vote on the motion.