Crossbenchers’ Voting Strategy Revealed

Opposition Leader Inia Seruiratu has stated that the vote of crossbenchers in Parliament is both flexible and tradable. He explained that the nine members who have expressed their support for Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka will continue to be independents but will serve as crossbenchers. Their voting decisions will vary depending on the issue at hand.

Former FijiFirst MP Mosese Bulitavu noted that their support for the Prime Minister would not hinder their duties as members of the Opposition. Crossbenchers, who may be independents or from minor parties and are usually not part of the Government, have the autonomy to decide how they will vote in Parliament.

Seruiratu remarked that many people do not fully grasp the concept of crossbenchers, especially when it comes to independents. He explained that in other systems, individuals enter Parliament as independents. They may contest elections as independents but function as crossbenchers once they enter Parliament. He suggested this could be the approach taken by the nine members, emphasizing their votes can be influenced by lobbying from other parties and the issues presented in Parliament.

Bulitavu, one of the MPs who supports Rabuka, reiterated their commitment to working with the Opposition members. He highlighted the potential role of these ‘middle blocks’ in mediating between Government and Opposition, fostering unity on both sides. Bulitavu confirmed that the Opposition leader has expressed openness to collaboration with the Prime Minister, indicating optimism for future joint efforts. Despite their middle ground stance, these MPs are determined to maintain their working relationship with the Opposition Leader.

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