MPs Play a Pivotal Role in Driving Fiji’s Development Efforts – Hon. Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu

Speaker of the Fijian Parliament, Hon. Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu has emphasised that Members of Parliament (MPs) play a pivotal role in driving Fiji’s development efforts and shaping national policies and laws.

Whilst opening the Induction for MPs in Parliament this morning, the Hon. Speaker noted that it is important for MPs to be equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to fulfill their crucial roles in advancing the nation.

“This Induction for MPs, whether you are new or have served previously, is an ongoing process. MPs training and capacity-building is firmly mainstreamed into the work of Parliament and especially in the work plans of the Speaker and the Secretariat.”

“This is an exciting period for our democracy as our Parliament is more diverse than ever before and offers a unique opportunity to develop and enhance our democratic culture.”

Over the next three days, the MPs will better understand the mechanisms and functions in Parliament; the law-making process; Parliamentary oversight; the Parliamentary budget process; MPs as representatives of the people; the role of the media; Civil Society Organisations Engagement and Gender Mainstreaming in the work of Parliament.

Additionally, officials from the Ministry of Finance will provide presentations on pertinent issues such as the Government’s budget process, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the National Development Plan (NDP).

Hon. Lalabalavu underscored the need for continuous transformation within Parliament to ensure its relevance in addressing the challenges faced by the Fijian people.

“We must strive to maintain a Parliament that represents the people better – this is how we will strengthen Fiji’s place as a modern and dynamic Parliamentary democracy.”

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Strategic Planning, National Development and Statistics, Hon. Prof. Biman Prasad said the induction is important for new Members and also for sitting Members who have experience in Parliament.

“We remind ourselves of the decorum, the process, the procedures and the respect that is needed in Parliament.”

“Parliament of course is the highest court of the land where new laws are made, laws are debated, and issues are debated and it determines how policies are made and implemented. So it’s absolutely important, for us as Members of Parliament, and as Ministers to understand the Parliament.”

Opposition MP Hon. Naisa Tuinaceva said that he was looking forward to this induction programme.

“As a new MP, these are the fundamentals I need to be equipped with. I have been around for a couple of months now, today’s sessions has given me knowledge and insights into how Parliament functions and I look forward to the other sessions later in the week.”