Former A-G will exit from the COC, says FijiFirst leader

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FijiFirst party leader and Leader of Opposition Voreqe Bainimarama and Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Picture: ATU RASEA

Less than 24 hours after FijiFirst leader Voreqe Bainimarama announced his “deliberate” nomination of Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum to the Constitutional Offices Commission (COC) as “the best representation on the COC”, he reversed course, saying the former A-G would exit from the commission.

The flip-flop on the announcement came via a statement on the party’s Facebook page, about an hour after the Registrar of Political Parties Mohammed Saneem clarified that public office holders could not be actively involved in politics as prescribed under the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosures) Act 2013.

Mr Saneem said “any person taking up public office must ensure that they comply with Section 14(1) of the Act”.

While making the announcement on Tuesday, Mr Bainimarana said Mr Sayed-Khaiyum would “take charge of matters outside Parliament”.

Mr Bainimarama said both he and Mr Sayed-Khaiyum would highlight all anomalies that had already commenced, and would defend constitutional appointments and the Constitution.

However, in a twist of events, on Wednesday night Mr Bainimarama said the decision for the former Attorney-General’s exit from the COC was based decision on claims of “oppressive and repressive” conduct by the coalition Government.

“Given this heightened development and the sheer number of complaints that we have received, and the manner in which the first Constitutional Offices Commission meeting was conducted, I have decided that the former attorney-general will exit from the COC to completely focus on the areas I had raised yesterday, including seeking legal address,” he said.

He also said the coalition Government, which has been in power for some 12-odd days, was nowhere close to fulfilling promises made during the campaign trail.

Mr Bainimarama also claimed multiple Fijians and their families were living in fear of losing their jobs.

He also said there were concerns that should certain promises be delivered, it would take Fiji back to the dark ages and be significantly detrimental to the lives of all Fijians.

He said FijiFirst would nominate a suitable replacement to the COC.