25 May 2020

Rabuka remains SODELPA leader in Fiji, for now

3:45 pm on 25 May 2020

Fiji's main opposition party could soon have a new leader with the position advertised local dailies today.

While Sitiveni Rabuka remained leader of the Social Democratic Liberal Party it was unclear how long he would remain in the position.

SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka at party HQ on Saturday 17 November

Sitiveni Rabuka, outside SODELPA's HQ Photo: RNZ/Sally Round

SODELPA has been rocked by deep division in recent weeks after a court last month ruled the 2019 election of their president and his deputy was illegal.

The decision said the party's 2019 AGM breached its own constitution and the country's 2013 Constitution and party decisions dating back to June last year were voided.

The latest turmoil saw two factions claiming to be the legitimate board, making key appointments for senior positions in separate meetings at the weekend.

At one of the meetings in Suva, Vice President Vijay Singh was appointed acting President while Gina Pareti and Ratu Jone Lesuma were both appointed acting Vice Presidents.

 Emele Duituturaga.

Emele Duituturaga Photo: supplied

Activist Emele Duituturaga is the new acting general secretary and she said the appointments were made because the positions were deemed vacant.

She said those at the meeting included MPs Lynda Tabuya, Aseri Radrodro, and Ro Teimumu Kepa, while Ratu Epenisa Cakobau, Roko Sau Josefa Cinavilakeba and former unionist Semisi Lasike were invited guests.

The group's request to be recognised by the Registrar of Political Parties was approved, including Ms Duituturaga as a registered officer of SODELPA.

Registrar Mohammed Saneem said he approved the list of office holders for the party as the update was provided by Mr Singh.

Mr Saneem also confirmed Mr Rabuka was still party leader although candidates had been sought for the position.

Mohammed Saneem.

Registrar Mohammed Saneem Photo: Fiji govt