3 Jun 2003

Fiji's SVT to become multiracial party

6:21 am on 3 June 2003

The Fijian Political Party, the SVT, is rebranding itself and changing its constitution to allow people of all races to join as members.

This follows the unanimous re-election of longtime former SVT leader, Sitiveni Rabuka, as its new president.

Mr Rabuka says they need general reconciliation to bring out the best in Fiji and the party is gearing to embrace a policy that will stand for one nation of many people.

Mr Rabuka says it is time for a change after many of the SVT's indigenous supporters and chiefs have left the party.

He says chiefs are no longer the party's priority, with their place now taken by the commoners.

The SVT's general secretary, Ema Druavesi, says Mr Rabuka is the only person who can bring about genuine reconciliation for all the people of Fiji and he will definitely stand in the next general elections.

The SVT was set up for indigenous Fijians in 1991 and was the ruling party for most of the decade until 1999.