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SHOWDOWN

SHOWDOWN
SODELPA's Ro Teimumu Kepa and Mosese Bulitavu.
August 21
09:10 2015

Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa and SODELPA MP and lawyer Mosese Bulitavu last night went toe to toe in a war of words over a controversial confidential report.

In a rare statement since the confidential report was made public by the Fiji Sun, Ro Teimumu claimed: “The Tui Cakau has pledged his support for my leadership and I have pledged my support for his.” Ratu Naiqama is Tui Cakau and SODELPA president.

She came out swinging against Mr Bulitavu and the Fiji Sun.

She said: “The Tui Cakau and Niko Nawaikula, who are in Australia, have made known their positions on the “crisis” contrived by Bulitavu and the Fiji Sun.

But Mr Bulitavu who was to resign today if the management board had not been convened, said Ratu Naiqama called him and  instructed him not to resign. He said he would respect the directive. He said Ratu Naiqama told him by phone from Sydney that “he will not only handle the grievances that now sit with the Management Board when he arrives next week, but he has also specifically directed me not to resign!”

The Turaga Bale na Tui Cakau has not spoken to her (Ro Teimumu) so who is she speaking to?” he said.

The exchange came a week after the exposure of the report which is highly critical of Ro Teimumu’s leadership and the governance of the Opposition Office.

Ro Teimumu said: “Attempts by the propagandists at the Fiji Sun and Hon Bulitavu to create a wedge between me and the Tui Cakau, the SODELPA president, will not succeed.

“We are fortunate as leaders of SODELPA to have many dedicated and loyal supporters and officials to help us steer the party through the turbulence of the present and the future.

She said they had about 30 candidates on their list who could step in and fill a vacancy that would arise if Mr Bulitavu resigned.

The next person  in line is Ratu Yavala Kubuabola, a former Minister of Finance.

Mr Bulitavu said: “I am heeding the call of my paramount chief and the head if the Tovata Confederacy the Turaga Bale na Tui Cakau Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu. I am not resigning despite the wishful thinking of the Opposition Leader and her team.

“Given I had made a challenge for the Party Leader to step down as Opposition Leader and to have all her staff vacate the Office of the Opposition or resign by tomorrow (today), the SODELPA President has called me directly today and he has also called the chiefs behind me especially Ratu Kilipati Vakalalabure with assurance that he will not only handle the grievances that now sit with the Management Board when he arrives next week, but he has also specifically directed me not to resign!

He accused Ro Teimumu of believing in illusions.

“This is her exactly and I am glad the whole of Fiji will now see her true colours!”

 

Publisher: Ro Teimumu shooting messenger, not replying to report:

Fiji Sun Publisher/CEO Peter Lomas said last night in response to Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa’s attack on the Fiji Sun: “Fiji Sun journalists are doing their job reporting news of public interest, not just trying to pander to Ro Teimumu.”

He said they tried repeatedly to get a response from Ro Teimumu on the controversial report on Opposition Office management and her leadership.

But Ro Teimumu chose to ignore this and instead attack the Fiji Sun and its journalists rather than respond to the substantial accusations.

“Unfortunately, classic ‘Shoot The Messenger’ type stuff from Ro Teimumu,” he said.

Mr Lomas said that the Fiji Sun now has the most experienced and respected news team in the country. It is led by editors such as Nemani Delaibatiki, Jyoti Pratibha, Rosi Doviverata, Josua Tuwere, Rachna Lal and Maika Bolatiki.

He said: “Nemani has a longstanding request in for an interview with Ro Teimumu. But she has not been willing to grant this. That’s her and SODELPA’s loss given the high readership we have.”

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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