Pacific Media Watch

9 August 2019

FIJI: Opposition MP alleges Bainimarama assaulted him but PM denies claim

Opposition National Federation Party MP Pio Tikoduadua ... accuses Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama of assault in Parliament. Image: Fiji Village

SUVA (Fiji Village/Pacific Media Watch): An opposition National Federation Party MP, Pio Tikoduadua, has alleged in Fiji’s Parliament that he was physically assaulted and threatened by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama earlier today but the national leader denied this.

Prime Minister Bainimarama said he only “spoke sternly” to Tikoduadua for personally attacking him and claimed Tikoduadua squeezed and broke his own spectacles, reports Fiji Village news editor Vijay Narayan.

Tikoduadua raised a point of order in Parliament in the last hour while parliamentary questions were underway.

LISTEN: Fiji Village report and audio from Parliament

He had earlier personally attacked Prime Minister Bainimarama, reported Narayan, while NFP politician was replying on his own motion calling on Parliament to urgently appoint a Special Parliamentary Committee to investigate into the risks from a hard drugs situation in Fiji.

Tikoduadua called on the government to “get off their own high horse” and accept the solution offered by the opposition to set up such a Special Parliamentary Committee, reported Narayan.

Tikoduadua then personally attacked the Prime Minister while talking about Mosese Bulitavu, an MP of the largest opposition party SODELPA.

Although Tikoduadua did not say anything during the government’s motion to condemn Bulitavu’s controversial comments about Indo-Fijian and iTaukei women, Tikoduadua today started talking about that issue, saying Bulitavu should not have said those things.

He then launched into the personal attack, reported Narayan.

Fiji Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama ... denies assault allegation. Image: Fiji Village

Bainimarama then stood up and asked Tikoduadua why he was personally attacking him as the NFP president had not said anything about Bulitavu yesterday.

The governing FijiFirst official media page declared “Blatant lie by Pio Tikoduadua that PM assaulted him. Does he have the guts to make this allegation outside Parliament?”

RNZ Pacific reports that the leader of the SODELPA party, 1987 coup leader Sitiveni Rabuka, said the motion attempt was about consolidating the opposition.

Parliament voted to censure Bulitavu for a racist Facebook post.

Bulitavu had said that stabbings and domestic violence were not part of Fijian culture until the Fiji-Indian community had arrived in the 1800s.

Fiji govt rejects claims PM assaulted MP


Pacific Media Watch

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