Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Nearing its End? The Bainimarama-Tikoduadua Incident

PM (L) and Pio Tikoduadua pn484
What's happening now should have happened over three  weeks ago. Sores fester if left unattended, and new poisoning can enter the system.

In politics the "sores" are when one side tries to score points off the other, and when views becomes news and opinion becomes fact on the mainstream and social media. Even TVNZ1 had a say,  a little late and incomplete, but the opportunity for a dig at Fiji could not be missed (pn479).

 I refer to the alleged assault by PM Voqere Bainimarama on former army colleague and friend, opposition NFP president  Pio Tikoduadua, in early August. (pn475, pn478)

Since then, the alleged assault has been reported to the police (who seem to be taking a long time to investigate)  and a Parliamentary Privileges Committee has been tasked by the Speaker (who previously said the matter was outside his ken because he did not see it) to investigate.

Today we can report that the NFP has not yet decided whether to participate in the Committee or, joined by SODELPA, whether to attend Parliament when the Committee reports its findings. I hope they do. They had objected to Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum being a member of the Committee, but he has now voluntarily withdrawn, and has been replaced by Agriculture Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy. The PM has apologized to Pio. Three senior SODELPA, Sitiveni Rabuka, Ro Teimumu Kepa and Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu have met with the PM "behind closed doors."

Let us hope the apology, the withdrawal and the closed meeting will take Fiji back to what should have happened over three weeks ago, and not too much goodwill—presently in poor supply—  has not been lost in the meantime.

-- ACW

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