Acting-Prime Minister and Attorney- General Aiyaz-Sayed Khaiyum will again lead for the FijiFirst Government side when the May Parliament sitting starts today.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum is expected to lead by example and respond to questions raised by the Opposition.
The Government assistance through the CARE initiative for those affected by TC Josie and Keni is expected to be a hot Opposition topic.
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama will be attending the eighth Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM8) in Iwaki, Fukushima, Japan.
Seventeen leaders from around the region will hold discussions on the theme “We are Islanders – Partnership towards Prosperous, Free and Open Pacific.”
The summit-level meeting will involve leaders discussing various issues that Pacific Island Countries (PICs) are facing and Mr Bainimarama will lead the Fijian delegation into these talks.
The Opposition is expected to make noise about Mr Bainimarama’s absence.
In a statement released last week, the Leader of Opposition Ro Teimumu Kepa said: “The Prime Minister is the head of the executive government. The executive government is answerable to Parliament.
Leader of the Opposition
Ro Teimumu Kepa
“That being so, the Prime Minister has failed in his duty and obligations to attend or lead his team to Parliament not only for these two sittings (April/ May) this year but also in the past,” Ro Teimumu stated.
Mr Bainimarama has played a key role for Fiji globally as President of COP23, the international climate change negotiations. He has also attended the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London with other leaders.
If the issue is brought up, the Opposition can expect the Attorney-General to robustly explain the importance of Fiji being represented properly and the value of this.
The last sitting saw him being supported by Minister for Employment Jone Usamate, Health Minister Rosy Akbar, Fisheries Minister Semi Koroilavesau, Forestry Minister Osea Naiqamu, Local Government Minister Parveen Bala, while Minister for Agriculture Inia Seruiratu and Minister for Tourism Faiyaz Koya were away with the Prime Minister in England.
New Member of Parliament and Tui Namuka Ratu Inoke Niumataiwalu, who was sworn in during the last sitting, will have the chance to raise questions.
By Friday, it will be confirmed whether this is the last sitting of Parliament before the National Budget announcement for 2018/2019.