Fiji PM Bainimarama apologises as Fiji's oppn boycotts Modi's speech
Suva (Nov. 19, 2014): Fiji's opposition party today boycotted the special parliament meeting held for Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the government withdrew it's decision to allow it to move the vote of thanks.
Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama apologised for the boycott calling it an 'inexcusable behaviour'.
At the special session of Parliament ahead of Modi's address, Bainimarama apologised for the opposition boycott: "Unfortunately, the Opposition has chosen to boycott this session to protest what they mistakenly believe was an attempt to exclude them from these meetings by boycotting this session. Nothing could be farther from the truth."
"I apologise to you, Prime Minister Modi, on behalf of the people of Fiji, for this inexcusable behaviour, which does not have anything to do with the relations between our countries. It only shows that some of us have some lessons to learn about democracy, statecraft, and nationhood," he said.
Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Fiji since Indira Gandhi travelled there in 1981.
Earlier, the opposition SODEPLA leader, Ro Teimumu Kepa said that Government has withdrawn it's decision for the opposition to move the vote of thanks in Parliament tomorrow.
In turn, the fifteen SODELPA members in Fiji's new Parliament said they will not attend the parliamentary sitting during which Modi will give his speech, Fijione reported.
"Government's decision ignores parliamentary best practice standards where the Prime Minister gives the welcome address and the opposition leader moves the vote of thanks," Kepa had said.