Politics

GCC’s first meeting scheduled for late May

The Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) first meeting will take place in late May of this year. President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere clarified this while delivering his address on the opening of the 2023-2024 session of...

Fiji parliamentarians urged to deliver sacred duty to the people

Members of the Parliament were today urged to deliver their sacred duty to the people of Fiji. While opening the new session of parliament this morning, President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere said it was his hope and prayer that both sides of the August House worked together in cooperation and unity  for the betterment of Fiji....

PM Rabuka: GCC to meet soon

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says the Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) will meet as soon as the legislation related to its establishment is formalised. He said they were working on the legislation at present. “Yes, we were going ahead with that,” the PM said. Mr Rabuka said there were plans for it to be rebuilt...

Ousted FBC chief executive dismisses allegations of exorbitant pay

Ousted Fijian Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) CEO Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says allegations he received exorbitant pay were “incorrect”. In a five-page statement, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum outlined his side of the story from the moment he had met the board and delivered a “staggering” 12,000 documents relating to senior management contracts, audit reports and financial statements from 2006 onwards....

Minister Singh: Investigate people who ‘looted FSC’

The Sugar Ministry is trying to find out who set the jaw-dropping salaries of the CEOs of the beleaguered Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC). Sugar Minister Charan Jeath Singh made this comment amid revelation of the remuneration packages of three former CEOs and four senior staff of the FSC. He said the Fiji Independent Commission against...

FEO refers Saneem to FICAC; alleges unlawful authorisation of sitting allowance

The Fijian Elections Office (FEO) has referred suspended Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem to the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) for probable abuse of office and for corrupting benefits given to, or received by, a public official. A statement from the FEO this morning alleged Mr Saneem to have – on numerous occasions during...

2nd February

No time given for Bainimarama to vacate PM’s official residence

Former prime minister Voreqe Bainimarama has not been given a time frame as to when he will have to vacate the government quarters he is residing in. Acting permanent secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister Pita Wise said Mr Bainimarama would move out from the quarters when he is ready. “Nothing changes,” Mr...

$840k pay for former FSC boss

Former Fiji Sugar Corporation chief executive Abdul Khan was paid up to $840,000 per year in salary and bonuses between 2011 and 2016, Sugar Minister Charan Jeath Singh revealed yesterday. His successor, expatriate Graham Clark, received a $728,000 per year package. In a news conference yesterday, Mr Singh attacked the remuneration packages and blasted the...

Resignation negates probe – PM

The resignation of Mohammed Saneem from his post as Supervisor of Elections has negated the need for an investigation by the Constitutional Offices Commission (COC). This, according to Prime Minister and COC chair Sitiveni Rabuka. During a news conference yesterday, Mr Rabuka acknowledged the topic when it was brought up by members of the media....

Group to facilitate elections

A working group chaired by the permanent secretary of the Local Government Ministry will be established to facilitate the election of municipal councillors for town and city councils. Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka told a news conference yesterday that the working group would consist of heads of central agencies, the CEOs of municipal councils and the...

Sugar minister on predecessor Bainimarama: ‘Sleeping on the job’

Sugar Minister Charan Jeath Singh says his predecessor Voreqe Bainimarama was likely “sleeping on the job” as those in senior positions enjoyed hefty salaries and benefits while ordinary farmers struggled to make ends meet. These were the sentiments he echoed during a media conference yesterday, where he announced that former Fiji Sugar Corporation chief executive...

1st February

Fiji’s Opposition Leader writes to President about COC

Fiji’s Opposition Leader Voreqe Bainimarama has refused an offer of housing extended by Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka. Yet, a little more than a month after the 2022 General Election, there is no confirmation from Government that he has vacated the home he occupied as PM. In a letter to Speaker Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, Mr Bainimarama...

Fiji drops 2 scores; New Government a hope to improve corruption index – Transparency International

A new coalition Government in Fiji offers some hope that the country will improve its Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2023, states Transparency International. In its 2022 CPI released yesterday, Fiji dropped two scores from 55 to 53, showing the country has not fared well. The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) ranks 180 countries and territories...

Kubuabola on the line

Among the Fijian diplomats in foreign missions likely to face Government’s axe is Fiji’s High Commissioner to New Zealand Ratu Inoke Kubuabola. Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka hinted at Ratu Inoke’s departure in an interview with The Fiji Times. Ratu Inoke has served in every administration from the military government established by the then Lieutenant Colonel...

Ratuva: SODELPA ‘needs to address internal issues’

The Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) will need to innovatively address its internal issues as a party while ensuring that the coalition Government works for the sake of the country. This is the view expressed by renowned Fijian academic Professor Steven Ratuva. “Fiji’s current coalition experiment has great implications for the future of Fiji’s democracy...

Ratuva: Future of Fiji’s democracy at stake

Renowned Fijian academic Professor Steven Ratuva says if the coalition Government is strong, resilient and lasts, “this will reflect well as a future model for coalitions in Fiji”. “It’s a learning process for a new government and a new democracy and we expect teething problems in the beginning and hopefully we settle down quickly and...

31st January

NATO’s chief urges South Korea to step up military support for Ukraine

SEOUL (Reuters) – NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg urged South Korea on Monday to increase military support to Ukraine, referring to countries that have changed their policy of not providing weapons to countries in conflict after Russia’s invasion. Stoltenberg is currently in Seoul, the first stop on a trip that will include Japan and is aimed...

30th January

Odds ‘very high’ of U.S. military conflict with China, top Republican says

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -A top Republican in the U.S. Congress on Sunday said the odds of conflict with China over Taiwan “are very high,” after a U.S. general caused consternation with a memo that warned that the United States would fight China in the next two years. In a memo dated Feb. 1 but released on...

Protester dies in Lima as Peru’s political crisis continues

(Reuters) -A man in Peru’s capital Lima died on Saturday and others were hospitalized as nationwide clashes between protesters and police continued in the eighth week of the South American country’s political crisis. The death of Victor Santisteban Yacsavilca, 55, brings to 58 the nationwide toll in the protests that began in early December after...

Israel appears to have been behind drone strike on Iranian factory -US official

DUBAI/WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Israel appears to have been behind an overnight drone attack on a military factory in Iran, a U.S. official said on Sunday. Iran claimed to have intercepted drones that struck a military industry target near the central city of Isfahan, and said there were no casualties or serious damage. The extent of damage...

PSC sets timeframe for permanent secretaries selection

The Public Service Commission (PSC) has set a timeframe of six months to advertise and select the best individuals for various permanent secretary positions. This was confirmed by PSC chair Luke Rokovada. Speaking to this newspaper, he said they had not yet fixed a date to send out the advertisements. This news comes as the...

God has heard the cries of the people, says Kamikamica

Your prayers have been answered. While speaking to hundreds of supporters of the coalition Government in Lautoka yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade and Communications Manoa Kamikamica said the cries of the people who wanted change have been heard. “When we think about the things that was done to us in the lead...

Minister commends women leaders

“Women hold up half the sky, let’s work our best to give women half the seats at the table.” These were the sentiments shared by Minister for Women Lynda Tabuya on the appointment of Salote Panapasa as the acting Commissioner of Fiji Corrections Service and Ana Salaivalu Mataiciwa as the acting Supervisor of Elections. In...

Media law up for ‘review’

The Media Industry Development Act will soon be reviewed over the next few weeks. Speaking to this newspaper in Lautoka yesterday, Minister for Communications Manoa Kamikamica said the review was one of the main objectives of the coalition Government when it came to freedom of the press. “The Media Decree is going to be reviewed,”...

29th January

Just be blue, Pio tells police boss

Home Affairs Minister Pio Tikoduadua’s message to the newly-appointed Acting Police Commissioner Juki Fong Chew is “just be blue”. When they met for the first time on Friday after Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho’s suspension, Mr Tikoduadua told Mr Chew that building back confidence in the Fiji Police Force would take some time. During the meeting, the...

Relations intact – PM

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says Fiji-China relations will not be impacted in the case of any termination of existing memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two countries. He was referring to a memorandum of understanding between the Fiji Police Force and China’s Ministry of Public Security inked in 2011. This resulted in Fijian police officers...

Finance minister on remittances in 2022 – $1b mark exceeded

Fiji exceeded the $1 billion mark in terms of remittances in 2022, says Minister of Finance Professor Biman Prasad. While speaking in Nadi on Friday, Prof Prasad said certain sectors had contributed heavily to Fiji’s economic recovery. He said this included the tourism industry. Prof Prasad said the Government would continue to play its part...

28th January

If suspension is upheld expect posts to be advertised, says Rabuka

If the suspension of the Police Commissioner, Commissioner of Prisons, and Supervisor of Elections is upheld by a tribunal ruling, expect the posts to be advertised. This, according to Prime Minister and Constitutional Offices Commission (COC) chair Sitiveni Rabuka following the appointment of new acting leaders of the three bodies. He said the appointment was...

Women hail appointments

Women in the country are celebrating the historic elevation of two females to key positions in the Sitiveni Rabuka-led coalition Government. Salote Panapasa is now the acting Commissioner of Corrections while Ana Salaivalu Mataiciwa is the acting Supervisor of Elections. They replace two key figures in the Bainimarama government — Corrections Commissioner Commander Francis Kean...

PM: Parliament on track to hold sitting

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says Parliament is on track to hold its first sitting next week. Yesterday, members from both Government and the Opposition benches convened for a business committee meeting to discuss the agenda of the first sitting. The business committee is a select committee of the Parliament of Fiji and determines the business...

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