Spirit of unity at first sitting of Fiji parliament - Speaker
Fiji's newly elected Speaker of parliament describes the first sitting of parliament as a moving ceremony.
The Speaker of Fiji's new parliament says there was a spirit of unity at the first sitting of parliament.
Dr Jiko Luveni who was a minister in the interim government took the Speaker's chair at the first session of parliament this week.
She told Moera Tuilaepa-Taylor the sitting was very emotional.
DR JIKO LUVENI: It was very moving and a humbling experience to be part of the ceremony particularly as it marks a return to Parliamentary democracy for our country. Even at the event there was a spirit of unity where leaders from both major ethinic groups shared the common national identity that the Bainimarama government had worked so hard infiltrate into the minds of all Fijians. It was so touching to witness the Parliamentarians declarations to hold the constitution which represents the prinicples of democracy that ensures that peace and stability that will move our country forward so it really was a great event.
MOERA TUILAEPA-TAYLOR: It must of also been an honour to be the first woman elected as Speaker in Fiji.
JL: It definitely was, it really was. I was honoured to be elected and having been elected, I reckon it was an achievement for women that was made possible really by the support of our men. The appointment really showed that men have recognised women potentially, particularly to hold a position of Speaker is usually dedicated to senior and experienced parliamentarians. So I have a task I must perform to the best of my ability and knowing that women must always work harder than men to prove ourselves. So it really was an honour.
MTT: You will be a great role model for young women in Fiji.
JL: Yes, I see that I will be a role model and I will really try to perform to the best of my ability, and to inspire and encourage women in Fiji to also be involved in politics.
MTT: And how do you see your new role in this new parliament.
JL: I see myself as the Speaker that will be guided by the standing orders of parliament which is a good manual that I have. And it defines the administrative responsibilities of the Speaker, I am mindful that I need to be impartial and to act without fear or prejudice, particularly as I come from the party that won the elections, FijiFirst, so I need to be mindful that I have to be impartial in that respect. So I must insure that the rights and privileges of all members are protected and that the dignity of parliament is secure. So that is what I see as my role as the Speaker.
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