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Disgruntled Tabuya leads SODELPA walk-out

December 21, 2021 1:48 pm
Party Leader Viliame Gavoka and SODELPA MP Lynda Tabuya.

The Social Democratic Liberal Party Management Board Meeting ended abruptly this afternoon.

A faction led by SODELPA MP Lynda Tabuya, including 19 board members walked out of the meeting claiming it had been hijacked by the opposing faction.

A disgruntled Tabuya told media outside the venue that today’s meeting was to decide the fate of party General Secretary, Lenaitasi Duru however, President Ratu Epenisa Cakobau stopped the proceeding even though the majority of the board wanted to take a vote.

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She claims she had the support of the majority of the board members, wanting to have Duru’s contract terminated, while only 14 party executives opposed the notion.

Tabuya led a walk-out after it became obvious that their grievance against Duru would not be considered by the management board.

“They have hijacked the party and the management board members in making a decision today in terms of making due process of the allegations against the General Secretary and the Party Leader and the Party President, they have stopped it, they ended the meeting, we still have motions going on the floor when he told a member to stand up and say the closing prayer and they stopped the meeting abruptly.”

Tabuya claims Duru is being investigated for perjury alongside Gavoka and has also failed to effectively manage the SODELPA office.

“We are understaffed and there are certain submissions made to the party office and they still have not responded, there is an issue of financials there has been no financial tabled at this meeting and the parliamentary grant which is $315,000 given by parliament is not been accounted to Caucus as supposed to be done by the General Secretary, so we really have a governance issue here in the party.”

Party Leader, Viliame Gavoka says the decision on Duru’s future with the party is for a later date and claims that certain board members tried to rail-road today’s meeting and force a vote.

“They decided to prosecute it today and judge it today, especially the case about the General Secretary and we disagree with that, you can’t do that to a person.”

Gavoka says a committee has been set up to investigate allegations against him and Duru and their findings will be tabled before the Management Board.

The committee comprises Ratu Ilaitia Tuisese, former judge Seromi Turaga and Laisa Vulakoro.

He says Ratu Epenisa made the right decision in using his powers to stop the proceeding.

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