25 Jan 2013

Fiji's main party dissolved in face of onerous decree

3:53 pm on 25 January 2013

One of Fiji's prominent political parties, the SDL Party, has been officially dissolved.

Fiji media report after a special general meeting in Suva, the party has proposed retaining its initials but changing its name from its Fijian full name, the Soqosoqo Duavata Ni Lewenivanua Party, to the Social Democratic Liberal Party.

This follows new stricter rules for political parties which include the requirement for party names to be in English.

Fiji Live reports that a party patron Ro Teimumu Kepa told SDL members the party's dissolution marks the end of an era in Fiji's politics and a new party is the best option under the new rules.

The SDL party was formed in the lead up to the 2001 election and emerged as winner.

It was re-elected in 2006, but six months later ousted from power in a military coup.

Its leader, ousted prime minister Laisenia Qarase, is serving a prison sentence on corruption related charges.