18 Aug 2006

Fiji vice president calls for politician's Code of Conduct

10:11 am on 18 August 2006

Fiji's vice president has called on members of parliament to be financially honest and serve all ethnic communities.

Radio Legend reports that Ratu Jone Madraiwiwi made the call while opening a workshop for parliamentarians on governance and leadership.

Ratu Joni told the MPs and senators to move away from their belief that they must serve only the ethnic communities that have put them in power, adding that they are public servants and must act as such.

He said public officials are paid from the public purse and are accountable to the taxpayers of the country.

Ratu Joni said it is because they "are all given to temptation that the need for a code of Conduct is an imperative."

The vice president criticized MPs who live permanently in Suva but represent distant electorates and claim daily allowances on that basis, saying the abuse is well known.

Ratu Joni said "if the honour system in place is constantly breached. it must be replaced."

Ratu Joni said "not only is this dishonest but it is most disrespectful to the rule of law and the institution of parliament."

The vice president also said many of the perks enjoyed by parliamentarians would border on abuse of public funds and need to be reviewed.