HomeFijiPrime minister Honourable Sitiveni Rabuka’s inaugural address to the nation

Prime minister Honourable Sitiveni Rabuka’s inaugural address to the nation

My fellow citizens in Fiji and abroad, The manifestos of the three coalition partners are broadly similar. Our arrangement for government draws on the principles of mutual respect and cooperation.The manifestos of the three coalition partners are broadly similar. Our arrangement for government draws on the principles of mutual respect and cooperation.The manifestos of the three coalition partners are broadly similar. Our arrangement for government draws on the principles of mutual respect and cooperation.On Christmas Eve, I was sworn in as the Prime Minister by His Excellency the President following the vote in the House of Representatives in compliance with section 93(3) of the Constitution of the Republic of Fiji.
I immediately formed a Cabinet consistent with our agreement with the NFP and SODELPA. Its members are very able, well qualified and highly committed to the task of rebuilding Fiji together.With 19 Ministers, Cabinet is larger than I initially planned. Some of you will be concerned about the cost. I confirm that in addition to the current 20 per cent reduction imposed since March 2020, I am proposing a further cut in the remuneration for all Parliamentarians.None of the tall stories worked. They were widely ridiculed and debunked on the street and in the media. The people themselves reported that peace prevailed.You totally rejected reckless attempts to create fear and disruption by spreading lies alleging racial persecution and harassment in the aftermath of the election.There is much discussion about the outcome of the election.The manifestos of the three coalition partners are broadly similar. Our arrangement for government draws on the principles of mutual respect and cooperation.We wish to be an example of political co-operation that crosses boundaries and creates a strong platform to support the restoration of Fiji’s position.Approximately 58 per cent of those who went to the polls wanted a change.We intend to establish specialist reviews in four key areas:
The Constitution and legal reform;
The economy;
Defence and national security, and
A forensic examination of the spending of the FijiFirst government.
Each review team will include people with expert knowledge.
The teams will report to the appropriate Cabinet member.
Of course a looming issue is the state of Fiji’s public finances. The government debt may now be above 10 billion dollars. That is a huge burden for a small economy like ours.
The Minister of Finance will soon be sharing with me and Cabinet, the exact nature of the problem. He will examine cash flow issues and structure of debt payment. This will be done in a way that does not impede our development.Ladies and gentlemen the awakening of the country after our victory manifested itself in an eruption of joy. In cities and towns and in rural areas, the air was filled with the sounds of tooting car horns, fireworks, drumming, singing and cheering.You will have read or heard that one of my first actions in office was to make it possible for Dr Padma Lal to bring home from Australia the ashes of her distinguished late husband, Professor Brij Lal, Fiji’s most famous historian.You will have read or heard that one of my first actions in office was to make it possible for Dr Padma Lal to bring home from Australia the ashes of her distinguished late husband, Professor Brij Lal, Fiji’s most famous historian.Approximately 58 per cent of those who went to the polls wanted a change.None of the tall stories worked. They were widely ridiculed and debunked on the street and in the media. The people themselves reported that peace prevailed.We wish to be an example of political co-operation that crosses boundaries and creates a strong platform to support the restoration of Fiji’s position.Our country is experiencing a great and joyful awakening. It gladdens my heart to be a part of it. And I am reminded of the heavy responsibilities I now bear. I bear this willingly for you and for Fiji.
Most of us eagerly waited for the final result of the 2022 general election, as the majority of the nation wanted a change. Although almost 58% of our voters voted for change, no one Party gained an outright majority.
This required negotiations which took about a week before my party, the People’s Alliance (PA), and our partner the National Federation Party (NFP), reached a historic coalition agreement with the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA).Ladies and gentlemen, my government is now focused on initial strategies that will help set our course for the next four years.You totally rejected reckless attempts to create fear and disruption by spreading lies alleging racial persecution and harassment in the aftermath of the election.I must add however, that one man reported on social media he had seen two ants fighting!
Tonight I repeat the assurance I uttered so often in the election campaign.Politics is the art of the possible. We saw what could be done and worked hard to make it happen.
We are thankful to the SODELPA leadership for its decision to be a partner in our coalition. Opposition parties in total registered approximately 70,000 more votes than the FijiFirst Party.
The mood for a new government was evident wherever we campaigned.As your Prime Minister, I will now chair the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF). My first priority in that role will be to engage in the diplomacy required.Approximately 58 per cent of those who went to the polls wanted a change.I have spoken with the Minister of Finance, Hon. Professor Biman Prasad, about sourcing the funds to settle our overdue payment to the USP. We’ll keep you updated on this important matter.
It is a priority of the Coalition Government to restore the “Pacific Way” in fostering trust, and understanding within and outside the region.I have spoken with the Minister of Finance, Hon. Professor Biman Prasad, about sourcing the funds to settle our overdue payment to the USP. We’ll keep you updated on this important matter.
It is a priority of the Coalition Government to restore the “Pacific Way” in fostering trust, and understanding within and outside the region.In a democracy the people are in charge. Elected representatives like me, and my parliamentary colleagues, do not lord it over you. We are your servants. We are here to listen to your concerns and respect your views.
I now turn to the crucial issue of Cabinet governance. I do this because for the last 16 years or so it has not been clear how the Cabinet worked. The people generally had no idea when it met, and what decisions it made.
In our Cabinet the Prime Minister will be the leader. We will let the public know when we are scheduled to meet.
The views of all Ministers will be heard. Robust debate is essential for the best outcomes. I will have a briefing for the media after each Cabinet meeting to explain our decisions, accompanied by other Ministers when this is appropriate.With 19 Ministers, Cabinet is larger than I initially planned. Some of you will be concerned about the cost. I confirm that in addition to the current 20 per cent reduction imposed since March 2020, I am proposing a further cut in the remuneration for all Parliamentarians.I have spoken with the Minister of Finance, Hon. Professor Biman Prasad, about sourcing the funds to settle our overdue payment to the USP. We’ll keep you updated on this important matter.
It is a priority of the Coalition Government to restore the “Pacific Way” in fostering trust, and understanding within and outside the region.Ni Sa Bula Vina’a and a very good evening to you all.Opposition parties in total registered approximately 70,000 more votes than the FijiFirst Party.
The mood for a new government was evident wherever we campaigned.

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