Motion Impossible: Frank Bainimarama is still PM
The Opposition’s bid to have Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama replaced by Leader of Opposition Ro Teimumu Kepa was defeated in Parliament moments ago. Opposition MP Hon. Semesa Karavaki had tabled a motion of no confidence against PM Bainimarama and proposed the name of Hon. Kepa as Prime Minister. Health Minister Hon. Jone Usamate said the motion […]
Peni Shute and Calvin Prasad
February 12, 2016 2:29 pm
The Opposition’s bid to have Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama replaced by Leader of Opposition Ro Teimumu Kepa was defeated in Parliament moments ago.
Opposition MP Hon. Semesa Karavaki had tabled a motion of no confidence against PM Bainimarama and proposed the name of Hon. Kepa as Prime Minister. Health Minister Hon. Jone Usamate said the motion had no basis and was an absurd proposal.
The motion had little chance of succeeding from the outset, as the government holds a numerical majority in Parliament. Parliament spent close to five hours debating the motion.
The common theme of the Opposition’s bid was that they wanted a ‘healer’ as PM, instead of an ‘enforcer’.
Opposition MPs took turns to give various examples of policies they thought were detrimental to the nation.
In response, government MPs took a united stand and spoke highly of PM Bainimarama. They all took aim at Hon. Kepa, accusing SODELPA of being incapable of leading the nation as there were numerous divisions within the party.
All parliamentarians had a chance to contribute to the debate.
The motion was defeated by 28 No to 11 Yes votes. 11 members did not vote.
Hon. Karavaki said under section 94 of the Constitution, the only way for a sitting Prime Minister to be removed was through a motion of no confidence, barring resignation or death.
Hon. Karavaki said the nation had to be saved from the road to destruction, and Fiji needed a Prime Minister that could heal its people and not enforce things on the people.
This nation needs to be redeemed, it is apparent we are on the road leading t o destruction. I come with a heavy heart. We can see clearly the system brought in by the Fiji government on reforms. Prime Minister now is an enforcer and not a healer. Our land is hurting, our land is crying out to be redeemed.
Hon. Karavaki said the PM was a good person but was not a good leader.
Health Minister Hon. Jone Usamate said democracy was when the government listened to the people, and that the people have spoken. Hon. Usamate said the people of Fiji had their say in the 2014 General Elections by voting for the Prime Minister.
The people have voted for one person, who had more votes compared to all of us put together.
Hon. Usamate said the government had implemented policies that were healing and met the needs of the population.
Prime Minster Voreqe Bainimarama told Parliament the Leader of Opposition was there as a politician and not a traditional chief.
She is here as a politician, not an Adi or Ro.
The Leader of Opposition Ro Teimumu Kepa responded:
The PM is a Ratu and when i was in my village, i sat on the floor everyday. Although, i do not wear a baseball cap as it is an insult to our culture.
Through the 2006 coup, the PM deprived us of our lively hoods especially when the nation was under 8 years of dictatorship.
Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khayium the SODELPA had not remodelled itself as effective and had not come to terms with the fact they were in opposition. The AG said the Opposition was grappling at straws.
Opposition MP Hon. Ro Kiniviliame Kiliraki said Fiji had 14 Mahogany stations around the country, and the owners of the mahogany felt marginalized.
Agriculture minister Hon Inia Seruiratu said he did not need to defend the PM, as the truth speaks for itself.
Opposition MP Hon. Viliame Gavoka said Fiji should have a referendum to decide on the change of the flag.
Opposition MP Hon. Mosese Bulitavu said that in the past two years, the Prime Minister was absent from the National Budget announcements. Hon. Bulitavu pointed out that the government of the day was failing in its policies through the free textbooks initiative and free medicine.
Government MP Hon. Lorna Eden said the difference between the current Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition was confirmed in the 2014 General Elections. PM Bainimarama received 202,459 (52%) votes in total while Leader of Opposition Ro Teimumu Kepa received 49,485 (13%).
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