PM says comments insulted him

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama is seen here with his hand on the lapel of the Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua's jacket in this video footage grab. Picture: SUPPLIED/VIDEO FOOTAGE

PRIME Minister Voreqe Bainimarama was insulted by suspended MP Pio Tikoduadua’s comments in Parliament about a “military strategy”.

This was revealed in the verbatim report of the Parliamentary Privileges Committee dated September 4, 2019.

In his evidence before the committee on a matter of privilege against him, Mr Bainimarama said on August 9 he was leaving the Parliament complex to go home when he saw Mr Tikoduadua and decided to walk up to him and find out why he said what he said in Parliament about him.

“Well it distressed me. Firstly, I was concentrating on an oral question that I was supposed to answer. I was concentrating on that when I overheard him talk about a military strategy and I was quite insulted when he turned around and said that I and the Minister of Defence did not know anything about the military strategy, as if he is the only one that has been to the Staff College,” PM Bainimarama told the committee.

“He went to Staff College, I went to join Services Staff College, which is way above Staff College and that is why I was a bit insulted.

“I think he was answering that he had the right to answer and I think he was disappointed with that, he was depressed with that and then he started to waiver off. That is when I heard him talk about the military strategy on the manoeuvre warfare, that is a little part of military strategy that we learned in the Staff College.”

The PM had told Parliament on August 9 that he was personally attacked by Mr Tikoduadua.

In his evidence to the committee, he said Mr Tikoduadua’s comments “got to me”.

“Nothing of that sort should be spoken in Parliament. That is the reason why when I was going back home, I did not want to be in Parliament because I was very depressed. That was the reason why on my way home, I saw him, I wanted to ask him why did he come up with that because I do not know.”

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