21 Aug 2015

Fiji opposition leader losing MPs' confidence

2:28 pm on 21 August 2015

An MP with Fiji's opposition SODELPA party says he is among several MPs in the party who have lost confidence in their leader.

Mosese Bulitavu earlier threatened to resign over the use of government-allocated funding for the party.

But he says he has listened to the party president who is also his paramount chief who has instructed him not to resign as party managers look into the complaint.

Mr Bulitavu says many other party MPs are not satisfied over what they see as lack of consultation by the SODELPA leader Ro Teimumu Kepa over how the funds are used.

"Most of us have lost confidence. We regret it, it's not only because of her leadership. It's the advisors that she frequently seeks her opinion from, which we really question and if she could remove those advisors and even listen to us. We are each members of caucus and she is our leader."

Mr Bulitavu says individual MPs have to fund raise in order to operate effectively in their constituencies.

"There are other members of parliament who have been bold enough to sign a document to complain. There are others who didn't want to sign but they support (it). But there is a group that has an understanding that the whole thing is wrong."

On Thursday Ro Teimumu moved to dispel fears of a rift in the party saying a crisis had been stirred up for no reason.

In a statement she said the party is stable and has its eyes firmly fixed on forming the government of Fiji.

Mr Bulitavu says Ro Teimumu could have solved the issue earlier if she had consulted members of the caucus and he says the issue has unecessarily escalated.

He says the party's administrative officers have too much sway over the leader, making statements on her behalf which are unecessarily divisive.

"The way some press statements are done, it doesn't sound chiefly."

Mosese Bulitavu says he is confident there will be a fair investigation into his complaints.

SODELPA's Management Board are due to meet next week on the issue

Ro Teimumu Kepa, Fiji's SODELPA leader

Ro Teimumu Kepa, Fiji's SODELPA leader Photo: RNZ / Republika