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SODELPA’s future in limbo

May 24, 2020 8:00 am

The future of the Social Democratic Liberal Party is in limbo.

Two groups purporting to be the legitimate Management Board have made appointments for senior Party positions yesterday.

Both claim to have the lawful mandate to elect a President and two Vice Presidents.

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One faction headed by Tui Cakau Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu met at the Kshatriya Hall in Suva and the other led by Rewa high Chief Ro Teimumu Kepa met at the Holiday Inn.

FBC News has gathered that at the Kshatriya Hall meeting, a member of the Management Board said that SODELPA is not a Party for ‘Indians’ while another uttered that women do not have a place in SODELPA leadership.

However, party leader Sitiveni Rabuka says no such point was raised in their meeting.

“No that did not come. It was not discussed and the party constitution clearly states that the party would like to form a government that would be multi-racial in nature and would uphold good governance and transparency and democratic processes.”

Prominent members of the Social Democratic Liberal Party were at this so-called Management Board meeting which until yesterday morning had not existed and Party Leader Sitiveni Rabuka claims this was always going to be the neutral venue.

“I don’t know when that came up. I’m in the working committee and we concluded the last meeting I was at that it will be held today at the FTA hall and the business to be transacted as it was passed at the working committee.”

However, Rabuka then contradicts himself saying he had in-fact earlier indicated that he would attend a similar meeting at the Holiday Inn in Suva but changed his decision overnight.

“No, I didn’t go to that one because when I looked at the constitution on who called the meeting and also the preparatory meeting by the working committee I felt that this was the one that I would come to because Adi Litia is still the General Secretary according to the Court ruling and according to the processes so she had the right I give out the notification for the meeting.”

It is understood that Tui Cakau Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu was appointed as Acting President while Ratu Luke Ratuvuki is the Acting Vice President.

Adi Litia Qionibaravi has been appointed as the Acting General Secretary.

Rabuka says the outcome of their meeting Kshatriya Hall is for him to continue in his role as mediator between the two factions of the party.

“My role as mediator continues. I’ll have to look at the decision that they made as well as this one and I communicate the views between the two parties or make sure that the two parties know what’s going on in the other camp.” 

Rabuka confirms that there is still a division in the party and he will continue in his role as a mediator.

He adds the party must act in haste to submit all necessary documents to the Registrar of Political parties before the 27th of this month.

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