SODELPA's Working Committee is in defiance: Rabuka

January 22, 2024 6:36 am

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says the instruction by SODELPA’s working committee that Aseri Radrodro should remain in office until Friday is in defiance of the powers conferred on the Prime Minister under Section 95 subsection 3 (a) of the 2013 Constitution.

Rabuka says the instruction may also be in breach of the SODELPA Constitution, given that it is only the Management Board that gives directives to its members of Parliament, and not the Working Committee.

He says Radrodro’s dismissal is effective from today, and from there on, he may no longer exercise the powers and privileges of the Minister of Education.

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“The Honorable Gavoka assumes the education portfolio as of that date. However, the Honorable Radrodro may attend to his former office to remove his personal items, and the Honorable Gavoka may request him for a handover briefing on his return from overseas travel.”

Rabuka says he respects SODELPA’s commitment to its MPs and adherence to their Constitution.

However, the PM says political party bylaws and rules are made under the Political Parties Act.

He says the Act requires that parties and their officials must comply with the Fiji Constitution, the supreme law of the land.

He says SODELPA officials must also ensure that the Working Committee does not exceed its mandate in purporting to exercise powers of the Management Board as set up in its own Constitution.

Rabuka adds Section 95 of the Constitution is very clear on the powers of the Prime Minister to appoint and dismiss Cabinet Ministers.

He says therefore, the Employment Relations Act is not relevant at all.