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SODELPA Board Members threaten legal action

November 24, 2020 4:38 pm
In a letter written to SODELPA President, Ratu Epenisa Cakobau and obtained by FBC News, the MPs include Jese Saukuru, Mitieli Bulanauca and Tevita Navurelevu, who have also threatened legal action.

Three current sitting Social Democratic Liberal Party SODELPA MPs, are among the 14 who are against the interviews for the Party Leader and Deputy Leader that took place yesterday.

In a letter written to SODELPA President, Ratu Epenisa Cakobau and obtained by FBC News, the MPs include Jese Saukuru, Mitieli Bulanauca and Tevita Navurelevu, who have also threatened legal action.

In the letter by the 14 Management Board members say the interviews should not have been conducted as it is in breach of the Management Board resolution on November 5 and also the Special General Assembly resolution of July 25th.

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The members have expressed disappointment over what they claim and call unconstitutional moves to change the decision of the Management Board by engaging Pacific People Recruitment Agency to interview candidates for the Party Leader and Deputy Leader position.

The selection panel includes former politician Tupeni Baba, former SODELPA MP Semesa Karavaki, and Chartered Accountant Sepeti Tagilala.

It is understood two USP academics, who were approached to be part of the panel, refused. FBC News has been informed that the two were Doctor Esther Williams and Sandra Tarte.

Incumbent Sitiveni Rabuka, Aseri Radrodro, Ro Filipe Tuisawau and Viliame Gavoka were interviewed yesterday for post of leader.

Interviews for Deputy Leader were also conducted with those vying for the post including Radrodro, Lynda Tabuya, Filimoni Vosarogo, and Niko Nawaikula.

The letter was the reason that MP Mosese Bulitavu refused to attend his interview for the Deputy Leader’s post.

“If they had been appointed by the management board then only I would agree on their appointment. Most of the resolution passed by the board is often overturned and undermined.”

The 14 who are from the West, North, Lomaiviti and Namosi claim that they were caught off-guard when they found out that the interview process had been outsourced.

They argued that the Special General Assembly – the supreme authority of the Party had resolved in July that the interviews were to be held in the presence of the Management Board, with scores to be collected and tabulated by an independent score keeper.

The 14 had demanded that Ratu Epenisa remedy the situation by last Friday and publicly announce the revised interview process or else the group would take legal action for failure to comply.

The same Board Members have also questioned the non-payment of their allowances claiming the Party is hosting meetings in extravagant hotels and convention centres.

With the SODELPA AGM set to take place on Saturday, it is unclear whether these members will file a legal notice before that.

FBC News has made several attempts to get comments from Ratu Epenisa and General Secretary Duituturaga to no avail.

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