Politics

Confusion: Sitiveni Rabuka Leads In Parliament, For Now

Even Mr Rabuka showed which faction he sided with. Parliamentary laws proclaim he is the parliamentary leader of the party. His actions have not gone down well with the faction where he was not present.
25 May 2020 11:14
Confusion: Sitiveni Rabuka Leads In Parliament, For Now
Mr Sitiveni Rabuka.

Split as it may be, both factions of the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) maintained that party leader Sitiveni Rabuka is in charge in Parliament as the next sitting starts today.

However, neither faction has said who is really leading the party. Allegiances were shown on Saturday with both factions of SODELPA claiming to be legitimate.

Even Mr Rabuka showed which faction he sided with. Parliamentary laws proclaim he is the parliamentary leader of the party. His actions have not gone down well with the faction where he was not present.

Emele Duituturaga, who was appointed as the acting general secretary at the Holiday Inn, Suva, meeting, said for now Mr Rabuka remained in charge, but that is only until the party selects a new leader.

She said the management board was concerned that the party leader was not present at the constitutional meeting at the Holiday Inn, Suva, and the executive would be communicating their grievances in this regard.

“For now, we recognise him as party leader, however, there is still a concern about his absence in the constitutional meeting at the Holiday Inn on Saturday,” she said.

Mr Rabuka was at Kshatriya Hall as he claimed the party meeting held there was the legitimate one. The general secretary for the Kshatriya Hall faction, Adi Litia Qionibaravi, shared the same view.

She said two factions existing in the party would not affect the deliberations of the SODELPA Members of Parliament, in Parliament this week.

Mr Rabuka said he was still the party leader, Opposition Leader in Parliament and the man in charge.

He said that was the resolution from the two separate meetings that were held by the two SODELPA factions on Saturday.

“Unless my post gets re-advertised and someone else takes the leadership role, I will continue to do my best for the sake of the party and the nation,” he said.

He also reaffirmed that the division in the party would not affect SODELPA or the Opposition’s function in Parliament.

“Our function will not be affected, as party leader and Opposition Leader, we’ll all get together and carry on with our business as usual in Parliament.”

Ms Duituturaga said: “I don’t expect that the two meetings that were held on Saturday to have an impact on how the party views will be deliberated in Parliament this week.”

She said a caucus meeting would be held by the party soon.

“Of course, we expect tensions, but I am not expecting that our strength as an opposition will be affected in terms of the content and our role at the constitutional opposition office,” she said.

Names from the appointments at both the meetings are yet to be submitted to the Registrar of Political Parties Mohammed Saneem.

The names are due by Wednesday and any later could result in the party’s name being knocked off the Registrar’s list.

It has also been hinted by some party members that legal action could be an avenue.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

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