Politics

30th January

Media law up for ‘review’

The Media Industry Development Act will soon be reviewed over the next few weeks. Speaking to this newspaper in Lautoka yesterday, Minister for Communications Manoa Kamikamica said the review was one of the main objectives...

29th January

Just be blue, Pio tells police boss

Home Affairs Minister Pio Tikoduadua’s message to the newly-appointed Acting Police Commissioner Juki Fong Chew is “just be blue”. When they met for the first time on Friday after Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho’s suspension, Mr Tikoduadua told Mr Chew that building back confidence in the Fiji Police Force would take some time. During the meeting, the...

Relations intact – PM

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says Fiji-China relations will not be impacted in the case of any termination of existing memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two countries. He was referring to a memorandum of understanding between the Fiji Police Force and China’s Ministry of Public Security inked in 2011. This resulted in Fijian police officers...

Finance minister on remittances in 2022 – $1b mark exceeded

Fiji exceeded the $1 billion mark in terms of remittances in 2022, says Minister of Finance Professor Biman Prasad. While speaking in Nadi on Friday, Prof Prasad said certain sectors had contributed heavily to Fiji’s economic recovery. He said this included the tourism industry. Prof Prasad said the Government would continue to play its part...

28th January

If suspension is upheld expect posts to be advertised, says Rabuka

If the suspension of the Police Commissioner, Commissioner of Prisons, and Supervisor of Elections is upheld by a tribunal ruling, expect the posts to be advertised. This, according to Prime Minister and Constitutional Offices Commission (COC) chair Sitiveni Rabuka following the appointment of new acting leaders of the three bodies. He said the appointment was...

Women hail appointments

Women in the country are celebrating the historic elevation of two females to key positions in the Sitiveni Rabuka-led coalition Government. Salote Panapasa is now the acting Commissioner of Corrections while Ana Salaivalu Mataiciwa is the acting Supervisor of Elections. They replace two key figures in the Bainimarama government — Corrections Commissioner Commander Francis Kean...

PM: Parliament on track to hold sitting

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says Parliament is on track to hold its first sitting next week. Yesterday, members from both Government and the Opposition benches convened for a business committee meeting to discuss the agenda of the first sitting. The business committee is a select committee of the Parliament of Fiji and determines the business...

Judge steps down

THE judge who was handling Suva lawyer Richard Naidu’s case has resigned. The Acting Chief Registrar, Liyanage Wickramasekara, confirmed the Judicial Services Commission has accepted the resignation. Mr Wickramasekara said High Court judge Justice Jude Nanayakkara tendered his resignation on medical grounds and takes effect from Monday, February 6. Justice Nanayakkara was appointed a Magistrate...

16 years of challenges for rule of the law

THE past 16 years were very challenging for the Fiji Law Society (FLS), the legal profession and the rule of law. FLS president Wylie Clarke said this while addressing the FLS Convention at the Pearl Resort in Pacific Harbour last week. “I do not think I exaggerate when I say that rule of law was...

Retirement age reset

GOVERNMENT has formalised the retirement age to 60 through the gazetting of the Civil Service (General) (Amendment) Regulations 2023 on January 21. The gazette notice was authorised by the Acting Prime Minister Manoa Kamikamica and the chairperson of the Public Service Commission Luke Rokovada. It stated: “A permanent secretary may, with the agreement of the...

27th January

Former MP an ‘ideal bridge’

FORMER FijiFirst MP Vijendra Prakash is the ideal man to form the bridge between the iTaukei and Indo-Fijian communities. The former government backbencher’s lawyer, Siddharth Nandan, said this in the Anti-Corruption Division of the High Court at Suva yesterday when his case brought by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC), was called before High...

Police stand firm

THE Fiji Police Force says it will not be pressured into rushing investigations in relation to a complaint lodged by human rights activist Shamima Ali against FijiFirst party leader Voreqe Bainimarama. The Fiji Times had requested an update from Police on the case. “The same taskforce is handling the case and will be treating the...

Rabuka wants ‘accuracy’

THE Fijian media needs to ensure that every story they pursue is covered with comment from every actor involved and published with complete accuracy. Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka highlighted this during an interview with The Fiji Times this week. When asked if he could challenge the media on one aspect of how they operated, he...

PM : Qiliho and Kean’s position on agenda

THE fate of Police Commissioner Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho and Fiji Corrections Service Commissioner Commander Francis Kean will be known soon. While he did not want to discuss the agenda of the Constitutional Offices Commission meeting, when asked Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka confirmed the “positions” were on the agenda. He also confirmed Opposition Leader Voreqe...

Former Panama president’s sons return after U.S. conviction for money laundering

PANAMA CITY (Reuters) – Two sons of former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli returned to their country on Wednesday, after serving a sentence in the United States for money laundering in a case linked to the Odebrecht scandal, a spokesperson for the family said. The sons of Martinelli – Luis Enrique Martinelli and Ricardo Alberto Martinelli...

$4 an hour minimum wage to be assessed – Biman

THE impact of the $4 an hour minimum wage on small and medium enterprises and their ability to sustain it will be discussed at length to determine if any intervention is needed, says Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Professor Biman Prasad. “I think small and medium enterprises and businesses are very important and we...

Mataiciwa appointed acting Supervisor of Election

Fijian Elections Office manager Legal Ana Salaivalu Mataiciwa has been appointed Fiji’s acting Supervisor of Elections following the suspension of Mohammed Saneem. The appointment was made by President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere on the advice of the Constitutional Offices Commission (COC). A Government statement issued today stated that the advice was resolved in the COC meeting...

Bloc ‘will prevail’ – Gavoka says expectations need to be managed

THE vast majority of the people in Fiji want the coalition Government to prevail — and it will. Deputy Prime Minister and Social Democratic Liberal Party leader Viliame Gavoka said the mood in the country was “upbeat”. Mr Gavoka said expectations need to be managed, and “we believe we are doing that well”. In terms...

Opposition MP Dr Reddy resigns from parliament

Opposition Member of Parliament and FijiFirst party member, Dr Mahendra Reddy has resigned from Parliament. Speaker of Parliament Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu has given notice that Dr Reddy’s seat is now vacant pursuant to Section 63(1)(a) of the Constitution. Ratu Naiqama confirmed that Dr Reddy resigned from parliament effective from yesterday, Thursday,  January 26, 2023. It is unknown...

26th January

Rabuka to scrutinise bonus payments

Public enterprises seeking bonus payouts for staff members have been cautioned that a full and proper scrutiny of their operations will be made before a decision is made. Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka said instead of granting immediate approval, he had opted to scrutinise the payments – especially in enterprises where workers may have been laid...

Biman responds to Aiyaz

Those who ask why the coalition Government did not prepare a mini-budget have a very poor understanding of the situation the administration found itself in when it took over from the FijiFirst government. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Professor Biman Prasad was responding to comments made by former Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum about the...

‘We are in a very tight fiscal situation’

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Professor Biman Prasad says he and his team are working overtime to address Fiji’s ballooning debt – a legacy of the FijiFirst government – which is expected to reach $10 billion by July this year. “As Minister of Finance, I have quickly got a handle on what is...

PM terminates MOU

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says there is no need for Chinese state security personnel to continue working in the Fiji Police Force. He was referring to a memorandum of understanding between the Fiji Police Force and China’s Ministry of Public Security inked in 2011 which resulted in Fijian police officers undergoing training in China and...

Bainimarama has ‘no comment’ on COC meeting

Leader of Opposition Voreqe Bainimarama and his nominee to the Constitutional Offices Commission (COC), Tupou Draunidalo were seen walking out of Suvavou House a while ago. And it is understood the COC meeting is still  underway. When approached by members of the media outside Suvavou  House Mr Bainimarama did not want to comment on what...

Aligning policies best way forward – Finance Minister

Despite the fact that remittances raked in more than $2.3 billion into the economy from 2020 to 2022, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Professor Biman Prasad says aligning policies and working with the business community was the best way forward for Fiji. He said relying on friends and relatives sending money, and foreign countries...

Deputy PM: Basic food items priority

Reducing the cost of basic food items is one area the coalition Government is focused on, in a bid to ensure the vulnerable, low income earners and those living on the margins are able to put food on the table. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Professor Biman Prasad said the issue would be...

‘We are cutting down on wastage’

We are cutting down on wastages and will come down hard on any frivolous spending of public funds because the previous government created a culture of spending and wastage. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Professor Biman Prasad said Fijians could look forward to a better spend of their hard-earned money. He said the $38...

Sami: Each case is different

Each case is different. This was the response from Fiji Police Chief of Intelligence and Investigations Surend Sami to queries from The Fiji Times on why FijiFirst party general secretary Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum was not detained overnight for questioning like other political party leaders when the FijiFirst party was in power. And, he said, the Fiji...

Tight spot – Biman: Debt level to reach $10b by July

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Professor Biman Prasad and his team are working overtime to address what he described as “a very tight fiscal situation”. With Fiji’s debt level expected to reach $10 billion by July, he said the team was cutting down on wastages and would come down hard on any frivolous spending...

Aiyaz trying to ‘mislead the people’

The Constitution does not require everything related to the Government to be called Fijian, says Attorney-General Siromi Turaga. Speaking during a media conference, he said there was no right or wrong way to describe a title or name a government. He said FijiFirst party general secretary Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum was trying to mislead the people when...

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