16 Nov 2016

Fiji's NFP says government should lift MPs' suspensions

9:06 am on 16 November 2016

The deputy leader of the opposition says Fiji should not be a member of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, or IPU, if the government does not abide by its recommendations to lift the suspensions of two MPs.

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Photo: Fiji Parliament

Ratu Isoa Tikoca was suspended from parliament in September over statements that targeted Muslims, while Tupou Draunidalo was suspended in June for calling a government minister a fool.

The Geneva based IPU said the comments fell within the opposition MPs' rights to free speech and their suspensions have no legal basis.

Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, 135th Inter-Parliamentary Union assembly, Geneva, October 25, 2016.

Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, 135th Inter-Parliamentary Union assembly, Geneva, October 25, 2016. Photo: Inter-Parliamentary Union

The leader of the National Federation Party, Biman Prasad, said that if Fiji is to remain a member of the IPU, the government must adhere to its standards.

"I would go to the extent of saying that if the government doesn't take heed of the recommendations by the IPU and it doesn't support lifting of the suspensions, then Fiji really doesn't have a right to be a member of the IPU," he said.

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