Mosese Bulitavu will remain one of SODELPA’s parliamentarians despite his “disappointing” views to side with the Fijian Government on the Fiji Airways Guarantee motion, the party has ruled. READ MORE
Social Democratic Liberal Party Deputy Party Leader Filimoni Vosarogo said Bulitavu’s decision was in contrast to the position taken by the remaining SODELPA MPs, but one that he cannot be penalised for under Section 63 (1)(h) and (3) of the 2013 Constitution because of the “absence of a Party directive on the issue.”
Vosarogo said Bulitavu voted by his own choice, and has since apologised.
“Bulitavu has been informed in no uncertain terms that his support of the motion when his colleagues laboured to oppose the motion does not augur well for parliamentary collegiality, Vosarogo said, “He has apologised for his choice and as a Party, we encourage our Members of Parliament to build consistency of approach in this difficult time of negotiating tough national and socio-economic challenges.”
Section 63 (1)(h) provides that a member is deemed to have vacated his/her seat if he/she votes or abstains from voting in Parliament contrary to any direction issued by the political party for which he or she was a candidate at the time he or she was elected to Parliament, without obtaining the prior permission of
the political party. Section 63 (3) merely facilitates by spelling out the grounds on which (1)(h) can be carried out.
Contrary to six other opposition members including SODELPA leader Bill Gavok and his NFP counterpart Professor Biman Prasad who made contributions on the motion at a recent parliamentary sitting Thursday, Bulitavu was supportive of the now-passed motion. The motion sought to extend the term of a FJ$455 million government guarantee facilities for Fiji Airways from three years to a time when “the guarantee facilities are discharged by the lender or fully settled.”
Despite siding with government, Bulitavu remains a SODELPA Member of the House of Representatives, the party said.