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Tabuya-SODELPA Versus Elections Office

Tabuya-SODELPA Versus Elections Office
From top left:Mohammed Saneem , Lynda Tabuya, Adi Litia Qionibaravi and Sitiveni Rabuka
December 31
11:26 2017

Many questions have emerged since the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing on December 9, 2017 between the now suspended People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA).

The Fijian Elections Office (FEO) has sought the certified copies of the MOU. SODELPA has confirmed that it would supply the documents before the due date.

On the same day, Lynda Tabuya, who was then PDP leader was announced as a candidate for SODELPA and Vijay Singh elected as one of three SODELPA vice presidents.

Whether the two adhered to Section 15 of the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosures) Act, 2013 remains to be seen.

Why was Ms Tabuya signing the MOU on behalf of PDP on December 9 when she had resigned from the party on December 7, 2017?

The timeline below should help answer some questions.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Σ PDP leader Lynda Tabuya and PDP President Vijay Singh resigned as office bearers and members of the PDP party. This was decided during a PDP management board meeting

(This was confirmed to the Fiji Sun in an interview with Ms Tabuya on December 22, 2017. SODELPA general secretary Adi Litia Qionibaravi also confirmed on December 23 that both Ms Tabuya and Mr Singh are registered members of SODELPA.)

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Σ SODELPA held a special general meeting at the Fiji Teachers Association (FTA) Hall.

The first group of candidates were announced at the FTA Hall. Three new vice-presidents were elected. Mr Singh was one of them.

Σ Press Briefing at the SODELPA headquarters where the signing of the PDP/SODELPA Memorandum of Understanding took place.

Σ Among other things, the MOU stated that PDP will sit out the 2018 General Elections.

The MOU was signed by Mr Rabuka, and Ms Tabuya.

Σ Ms Tabuya, when given time to speak, announced Pearl Antonio as the general secretary for PDP.

Σ Ms Tabuya was announced as candidate for SODELPA by party leader, Sitiveni Rabuka after the signing.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

The FEO confirmed receiving the resignation letter of Ms Tabuya.

According to Section 15 (2) of the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosures) Act, 2013, Ms Tabuya’s resignation became effective on December 21, 2017.(See letter)

Friday, December 22, 2017

The FEO confirmed receiving the resignation letter of Mr Singh.

His resignation became effective on December 22, 2017.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

The FEO issued a press release stating the following:

Σ PDP has been suspended for 30 days

Σ FEO seeks certified copies of the MOU signed between SODELPA and PDP.

Both parties are given 7 days to furnish the FEO with these documents.

Σ The Supervisor of Elections referred a complaint to the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption in relation to the possible contravention of Section 15(3) of the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosures) Act, 2013 by Mr Singh.

Friday December 29, 2017

SODELPA released a media statement stating that the MOU signed between SODELPA and PDP was not a merger.

However, general secretary Adi Litia confirmed that they will be providing the required documents to the FEO.

Friday, December 29, 2017 – 4pm

SODELPA called for a press conference at the SODELPA Headquarters.

Ms Tabuya responded to the press statement made by the Supervisor of Elections on December 28, 2017 regarding the suspension of PDP.

She reiterated that she was speaking in her capacity as the former PDP leader.

Then she turned her attention to the Air Terminal Services saga.

Friday, December 29, 2017 – 5.34pm

FEO issued a media release stating that statements by Ms Tabuya were inaccurate. Screenshots of the email exchange between the Supervisor of Elections and Ms Tabuya were also released.

FEO also confirmed receiving an application from PDP regarding the breach which led to the suspension of the party.

Edited by Naisa Koroi


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