PRESS RELEASE: Allegations of assault by Opposition MP, Pio Tikoduadua
19 Aug, 2019
The Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre is very concerned about the allegations of assault and other abusive behavior made against the Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama by Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua, within the vicinity of Parliament.
Fiji has very high rates of violence against women and this is an indication of an already violent society.
We have been hearing great speeches in parliament condemning such violence. Honorable Mereseini Vuniwaqa is one of the most ardent and passionate advocates of ending violence against women, girls and children in Fiji. The PM himself has not been quiet on this issue either.
But the alleged actions of the foremost elected leader of Fiji can negate all the good work and speeches we have seen and heard in recent years.
This type of behavior amongst men generally to settle disputes is a precursor to all the violent crimes we are witnessing in this country – from violence against women and children; to security force brutality to brawls amongst students and the list goes on.
Our leaders must stand strong and ensure they do not leave themselves open to these types of allegations. And we all cannot be bystanders. We must call out such anti-social and harmful behavior and under no circumstances make excuses and condone violent and abusive behavior.
We call on the Speaker to do his duty in the August House, and the Commissioner of Police must do his.
In the interest of all concerned we also ask for a transparent and independent investigation into this alleged incident.