Fiji’s Radrodro dismissed after ‘due process’, says Rabuka

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Fiji Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka
Fiji Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka addressing the nation on the dismissal of Education Minister Aseri Radrodro . . . three warning letters. Image: Fiji govt screenshot FT/APR

By Timoci Vula

Fiji’s Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says the decision to dismiss Education Minister Aseri Radrodro from cabinet was taken after due process had been followed.

Rabuka had issued a public statement to announce Radrodro’s dismissal on January 19 with effect from tomorrow (January 22), citing “insubordination and disobedience” to his directive.

He said he had written three letters to Radrodro since September last year, and had also held discussions with SODELPA leader and Deputy PM Viliame Gavoka last October, which was followed up by another letter in early November.

The Prime Minister said he was also advised that during his absence, then then-acting PM, Deputy PM and Minister for Trade Manoa Kamikamica, had also advised Radrodro to comply with the legal advice from the Solicitor-General regarding the reinstatement of members of the Fiji National University (FNU) Council whom he had terminated.

“I wish to clarify that my public statement on the dismissal was published only after confirmation of the dispatch of letters to Hon. Radrodro and His Excellency the President and Honourable Speaker on Friday 19/1/24.”

Background:

  • Radrodro had terminated the appointment of the chairperson and three members of the Fiji National University (FNU) Council in May 2023;
  • Thereafter, he was advised by the Solicitor-General’s Office that the decision was unlawful and must be withdrawn;
  • Members of the FNU Council can only be terminated in limited circumstances and with a two-thirds majority vote of the Council during their meeting and only after the members have been provided an opportunity to be heard;
  • The Solicitor-General also met with Radrodro to urge him to comply with the legal advice given;
  • Despite the PM’s “very clear” written directive and discussions with Deputy Prime Minister Manoa Kamikamica, Radrodro failed to comply with the PM’s directive.

Timoci Vula is a Fiji Times reporter. Republished with permission.

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