Reverend: SODELPA Approached Me But I Told Them No
Reverend Orisi said he was shocked and surprised when he was asked about his name appearing in the Fiji Sun and wanted to know why his name was on the list.
A chaplain of the Fiji Methodist Church has denied claims of ever applying for the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) as a candidate to contest for the 2018 general elections.
This comes after the Navuso Technical College Church chaplain Reverend Orisi Terei protested about being listed as one of the 110 applicants.
Reverend Terei he said he did not apply for a ticket under the SODELPA banner but said he was approached by the party.
He said he was approached at home by some party members and he told them he refused to apply to be one of their candidates.
Reverend Terei said he was shocked and surprised when he was asked about his name appearing in the Fiji Sun and wanted to know why his name was included without the party consulting him. He declined to comment any further because he needed to verify why his name was in the list without his consent.
SODELPA general secretary Adi Litia Qionibaravi said she could not confirm anything in regards to Reverend Terei because the ‘list’ was “unofficial”.
Adi Litia said she hoped the issue would be put to rest.
She reiterated what the party leader, Sitiveni Rabuka had said earlier, that rather than demonising and publishing a list in order to intimidate people into fearful silence democratic discourse, the peaceful exercise of political rights should be promoted.
The Methodist Church of Fiji has confirmed that as per their position in 2014 any minister or deaconess who becomes a candidate in any general election must resign.
Methodist Church Secretary for Communication Reverend James Bhagwan confirmed that Reverend Terei was a Chaplain at the Technical College in Nausori.
Meanwhile, the leader of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Lynda Tabuya, has assured all PDP supporters that she remains loyal to the party’s principles.
Ms Tabuya confirmed this after she expressed disappointment with the inclusion of her name in a list leaked to the Fiji Sun, and labelling it as “a mistake”.
Ms Tabuya has confirmed that she remains leader of the party and is currently in talks with the opposition party leaders including SODELPA leader, Sitiveni Rabuka.
However; nothing has been finalised yet.
“The fact that my name is included as having applied would breach the current electoral laws as I am officially registered under PDP,” Ms Tabuya said.
She said no individual could be registered under more than one party.
Ms Tabuya alluded to the possibility of contesting under one consolidated party by the coalition. However, she said there are issues to be negotiated including manifestos, number of candidates, etc.
“It is common knowledge that coalition talks continue and once finalised my name may appear in the coalition list that is agreed to by the coalition of opposition parties which are PDP, SODELPA, FLP, One Fiji and Fiji United Freedom Party” Ms Tabuya said.
Edited by Rusiate Mataika