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More speak out on SODELPA list of applicants for poll tickets

More speak out on SODELPA list of applicants for poll tickets
L-R: Seremaia Bai, Jone Dakuvula and Laisiasa Corerega
April 18
11:00 2017

More people have spoken out in the wake of the Fiji Sun’s publication of a SODELPA list of applicants for election tickets.

Former rugby international player and founder of the Fiji Rugby Academy, Seremaia Bai was surprised to see his name in the Social Democratic Liberal Party candidate list published in the Fiji Sun last Saturday.

“I have not applied to be a candidate and I was quite surprised to see my name in that list.

“There was some conversation with SODELPA officials but that was all.

“I am really not interested in politics at the moment, maybe later on,” Mr Bai said.

Former press secretary in the Sitiveni Rabuka-led Government and political activist, Jone Dakuvula clarified that he did not apply for a SODELPA ticket.

In fact, Mr Dakuvula 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 his application being sent to the party.

“How come my name is there because I have not applied to be one of their candidates in SODELPA?” Mr Dakuvula questioned.

“Some individuals who represent the party have approached me and not only SODELPA but all the other parties as well.

“I am surprised that my name is in their candidate list.

“Nobody officially from SODELPA has asked me as far as I know because I don’t know how my name is in the list.”

Rewa Rugby Union president, Ro Filipe Tuisawau refused to make any comments about whether he applied or not.

“As a professional, I do not wish to make any comments at this stage, but I will comment when it is the right time.”

Ro Filipe was the president of the Fiji Rugby Union and more recently was employed with the South Pacific Tourism Organisation.

Meanwhile, Fiji Secondary Schools Rugby League president, Laisiasa Corerega is optimistic that his application would be accepted.

“It is a good opportunity for us to work on something new and challenging.

“We need new people with new ideology in the party to get more supporters.

“We want to help other races as well and not just be in one particular line. We have to be inclusive.

“I did not apply in the 2014 General Elections as I was still teaching,” Mr Corerega said.

He said he chose to apply for a SODELPA ticket because he wanted to start his career in a politics.

“There is no harm in which party you choose but the fact that when you get in, what are you going to offer to the people of Fiji and do it.”

Mr Corerega also worked at the Fiji Higher Education Commission and Tertiary Education Loan Scheme.

Livestock management expert, Hirday Lakhan has ruled himself out of standing in the 2018 general elections. He confirmed he was approached by other political parties, including SODELPA.

While he did not write a formal application, Mr Lakhan said he did send his “expression of interest.”

“I was disturbed when I saw my name in the list published in the Fiji Sun – because that is not the formal list.

“After my name was published – I feel that it’s faster to create enemies than to create friends.”

Moving forward, Mr Lakhan would remain “apolitical” and liaise with politicians who would assist in areas dear to him – the development of Northland Tailevu and rural development in general.

“I am taking an apolitical decision in all these – I don’t have to be a politician to achieve Northland development – I can use politicians like Mr (Jiosefa) Dulakiverata, I can use Mr (Inia) Seruiratu and Pio Tikoduadua – so I believe that the best thing to do for people like me is to opt to be apolitical and still push for Northland development which every party will be pushing for as well.”

Edited by Ranoba Baoa


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