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Ro Teimumu Disagrees With Rabuka

Ro Teimumu Disagrees With Rabuka
May 21
13:43 2018

Opposition leader Ro Teimumu Kepa last night confirmed that she disagreed with her party leader Sitiveni Rabuka on his position about Fijian as a common name.

She said in a FBC news report that she and her province of Rewa had em­braced Fijian as a common identity.

She said the people of Rewa wanted it because they thought “outside of the box”.

It is consistent with her decision as the Marama Bale Na Roko Tui Dreketi (Paramount Chief of Rewa and Bu­rebasaga Confederacy) to bestow her blessing on the descendants of Gir­mitiyas to be drafted into the chiefly clan of the Tui Noco of Noco (a district in Rewa) as the “luvedra Na Ratu” or children of the Chief.

The unprecedented move has been hailed as having a positive impact on race relations in this country, espe­cially between the two major races, the iTaukei and Indo-Fijians.

It is understood that this may have contributed to her rise in popularity in the latest Fiji Sun-Razor opinion poll.

She is polling ahead of Mr Rabuka and is emerging as the top contender against Prime Minister Voreqe Baini­marama.

Mr Rabuka told law students at the University of Fiji recently that he had reservations about the use of Fijian as a common name because there were no prior consultations.

He said he was the first to moot Fijian as a common name, but it was rejected in 1987.

He is now suggesting Fiji Islander as an alternative common name.

His statement in Lautoka contradict­ed what Ro Teimumu had earlier told Parliament that she had accepted Fi­jian as a common name.

It also caused confusion among the rank and file of SODELPA who felt that Fijian had generally now being accepted and that Ro Teimumu had publicly said it when she was still the party leader.

The apparent split on the common name is indicative of an internal pow­er struggle that has hindered SODEL­PA’s progress.

Mr Rabuka’s Vanua Levu support base has been wary of Ro Teimumu’s growing popularity, although she has not been visible on the campaign trail.

A battle between her Rewan support group and Rabuka’s camp is truly un­derway.

Edited by Epineri Vula

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