FijiFirst MPs Seek Clarification Amid Threats of Disciplinary Action

Representatives of FijiFirst’s 16 MPs, who voted for a salary increase against party directives, met today with Speaker Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu and the Secretary General of Parliament to clarify parliamentary processes after the party threatened disciplinary action

The meeting followed a statement from FijiFirst, posted on their Facebook page on Sunday, May 26, threatening action against MPs who defied party orders. 

Jone Usamate, one of the 16 MPs, in a statement today stated, “The Honorable Speaker has stated that all the due processes of Parliament will be followed, should such a notification be received by his office.”

In the same statement, Usamate used the term “alleged” suggesting uncertainty on whether the MPs did indeed vote against the party directive.

These MPs, including Leader of Opposition Inia Seruiratu, endorsed an Emoluments Committee report recommending significant salary increases. In their submission to the committee during the review period, FijiFirst proposed standardising all cabinet ministers’ salaries at $200,000 across the board, while suggesting increased salaries for all other MPs, excluding the President and Prime Minister. The party suggested doubling other MPs’ salaries to $100,000, raising the salaries for the Leader of the Opposition, and Speaker to $200,000 (from $120,000 and $150,000 respectively), and increasing assistant ministers’ salaries from $90,000 to $120,000. 

In the statement on May 26, FijiFirst President Ratu Joji Satakala named the dissenting MPs and indicated the party’s Central Executive Committee would address the issue per the party’s constitution. 

Seruiratu followed up with a statement on Monday, May 27 reassuring the public that despite potential disciplinary actions, opposition MPs remained committed to their parliamentary duties.

Foodie Night 1327x198 ad(1)
Top Stories