Fiji’s Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka has affirmed that all ministerial assignments made before the cabinet reshuffle announcement on Friday, October 13, still stand.
None of the changes that were announced have taken effect, as they are currently seeking legal advice on these appointments and other recent ones.
“The reshuffle is made when it is approved by the president on my recommendation and gazetted. Those have not been done,” Rabuka told journalists during a press conference in Suva.
On Friday, October 13, a press statement posted on the Fiji Government Facebook page outlined the planned changes to be effective from Tuesday, October 17. These changes included Filimoni Vosarogo being reassigned as Minister for Justice and Attorney General, swapping with Siromi Turaga, who was set to take up the Ministry of Lands portfolio. The other change sees Aseri Radrodro and Ifereimi Vasu slated to swap roles, with the former moving to iTaukei Affairs and the latter to Education. However, these appointments faced criticism from various quarters, including concerns about Vosarogo’s appointment as Attorney General and a request from SODELPA, a party in the three-party coalition Fiji Government, to delay the reassignments of their MPs Radrodro and Vasu until their management board meeting.
During the press conference yesterday, Rabuka said that none of these reassignments have occurred. The government has sought advice from both lawyers within the government and private legal advisors, and all these inputs are being considered
“In the meantime, there have been concerns raised by the Fiji Law Society and we are a government that listens. We listen to lawyers available in government to advise us and we’ve also obtained some private legal advice. All those are taken into account.
“We have enough advice…and I will announce the decision when the time is right.”
The review also extends to recent appointments, including that of the acting Director of Public Prosecutions. These appointments will be assessed, and only those deemed suitable will be retained. Rabuka also clarified that he did not seek legal counsel before making the initial announcement on October 13.
SODELPA’s Management Board meeting is expected to take place on November 10 to discuss the reshuffle and related matters.