“Former FijiFirst Party Member Makes Bold Move in Parliament”

Former FijiFirst Party member, Viliame Naupoto, addressed the Parliamentary chamber for the first time today as a crossbench Member of Parliament.

Supporting the 2024-25 National Budget, Naupoto remarked that his current situation arose from a decision he made in Parliament, a decision he does not regret, and from decisions made by others outside of Parliament.

Crossbench members are those not affiliated with either the Government or the Opposition.

“At the outset, let me say that the decisions made outside of this Parliament were theirs to make, which I respect, and I will not question their reasoning,” Naupoto stated.

“I have accepted my current situation and will continue as a crossbench Member of Parliament for the remainder of this term,” he added. “I’ve made my choice, and as the saying goes, ‘You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequences of your choice.’ That, I understand very well.”

Naupoto expressed a sense of freedom, despite everything that has transpired. He felt liberty in exercising his own judgment, consulting across the floor, and collaborating with others, including those of differing opinions, all to serve the citizens better.

“Today marks a new beginning for me,” he announced. “Democracy is not just about votes and legislation. Primarily, it’s about human interaction and encounter.”

He emphasized the importance of dialogue, compromise, and mutual respect among people with different beliefs and political affiliations. “We may not fully understand each other’s perspectives, but we can begin to see each other and offer respect, admiration, and reverence,” Naupoto noted.

He criticized the divisive politics of “Us versus Them” and “It’s my way or the highway,” which he said still influence Parliament. According to Naupoto, such politics sow anger and hatred and do not set a good example for the multi-racial, multi-cultural, and multi-religious society they serve.

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