Tupou Faireka: Democratic process in Parliament

Saturday 3 October 2020 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Editorials

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Dear Editor, Please publish the remainder of my letter as what was omitted due to space constraints is of great importance to be made public; public concern is fast mounting over what is increasingly happening – the bias of the Speaker of Parliament towards the government.

This is the second time in a week that Parliament has upset the democratic process that it should be upholding as the supreme institution in our country.

When Parliament fails to function according to its own rules and attempts to permit government to influence and trample on democracy and the right of members and the people of this country to be heard through petitions, then our Parliamentary system is in serious trouble.

On Monday this week, Democratic Party Opposition Leader Tina Browne and Titikaveka MP Sel Napa asked the Speaker when the Te Vai Ora Maori – Anti Chlorination Petition would progress to Select Committee as is normal.

The Speaker maintained her earlier position and said that she had determined the petition. When she made that ruling, she effectively silenced the voices of over 1433 people. Our people. A total of 1433 voters and taxpayers of our country were shut down from being heard as is their constitutional, democratic right.

I add; the Speaker of Parliament needs to take note; there is a vocal and robust Opposition in Parliament, the public will not sit back passively as she deliberately frustrates time and time again the delivery of democracy in our Parliament.

Trying to silence our people will only see us rise up and become more vocal. Bias does not belong in our Parliament and this point needs to be driven home to the Speaker. It will not be tolerated.

Tupou Faireka

Co-President

Democratic Party Executive