Ratu Suliano’s parliamentary seat will remain vacant: Speaker

Tui Namosi Ratu Suliano Matanitobua’s parliamentary seat will remain vacant until the next election, Fiji’s Parliament Speaker Ratu Epeli has ruled.

Ratu Suliano’s seat in the Fijian Parliament became vacant following his conviction two weeks ago for offenses that carry imprisonment terms of between five years and up to 10 years.

The decision not to appoint a successor to Ratu Suliano’s seat stems from the timing of the vacancy.

Section 20(1) of the Electoral Act 2014 outlines that vacant MP seats will only be filled if the vacancy happens less than three years and six months after the first meeting of parliament following the most recent general election.

In Ratu Suliano’s case, three years, and seven months had passed between his conviction, the subsequent vacancy of his seat, and the first seating of parliament in early December 2018, thus ruling out the appointment of a replacement.

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