NEWS

I Will Not Back Down: Rabuka

Newly-appointed SODELPA Party Leader, Sitiveni Rabuka has made a stand that he will not back down even if the majority of party members decide to break away. In an interview
27 Jun 2016 09:38
I Will Not Back  Down: Rabuka
Newly-appointed SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka (right), with his wife Sulueti Rabuka at their home in Namadi Heights, Suva yesterday. Photo: Filipe Naigulevu

Newly-appointed SODELPA Party Leader, Sitiveni Rabuka has made a stand that he will not back down even if the majority of party members decide to break away.

In an interview at his residence in Namadi Heights yesterday, the former prime minister and coup leader said he was aware that few disgruntled party members had left the party because of the change in leadership.

“I will only leave the party if the board sacks me,” he said.

“I won’t be discouraged and this is something I’ve anticipated since 2014; I still hold it today,” Mr Rabuka said.

He said being appointed as SODELPA leader was an uphill battle without the support of people who rejected his nomination as party leader in 2014.

“I am sad that this has happened just because I have taken up leadership; I am just one member of the party and not the party.

“I have been made leader of the party and they should have worked with their own delegates who came to vote,” Mr Rabuka said.

He called on supporters of SODELPA to continue supporting the party with or without his leadership.

“If they reject me, I will ask my supporters to continue supporting the party and I will continue supporting the party and I hope that the party continues to be a political force in Fiji,” Mr Rabuka said.

“Now we have seen the resignation of prominent party members; something I didn’t want to happen to the party.

“The party has done well and they have managed to win seats in Parliament and if so many are withdrawing because of me coming in then it will end up with negative results and one person coming and few hundred leaving is a very bad arithmetic fact,” Mr Rabuka said.

He said what had resulted in the change in SODELPA leadership was expected as they also did it to him in 2014.

“For this one I didn’t volunteer or apply; I was nominated by Cakaudrove West and I allowed the process to continue until the selection took place,” he said.

Mr Rabuka said he was a member of the party and a strong supporter too and had helped in the financing of certain aspects of the party’s campaign.

“A lot of people who are now rejecting my appointment are saying that I was not a visible party supporter which is true because I respect their views that objected to me joining the party in 2014.

“So I tried to keep a low profile as a party member but I participated in the fundraising and as well as the funding of the campaign in Vanua Levu,” he said.

However, Mr Rabuka said that decision by members to leave the party would have an impact on his role as leader.

Mr Rabuka said some members of the party had showed their support and were willing to stand by him as SODELPA party leader.

He said it was through the media that he was made aware of party members breaking away.

“I have seen it in some emails and I don’t contribute on social media; I don’t have Facebook so I don’t know what is going on in there,” Mr Rabuka said.

He said the board should conduct a meeting and convince party members who were planning to break away not to do it, if that doesn’t work then they should work out what the bottom line effect it would have on the party.

Edited by Manasa Kalouniviti

Feedback: arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

 



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