Politics

Waqatairewa Insists Duituturaga Seeks Rabuka Help To Steer Party

In a statement issued last night, the financial member also claimed that Mr Rabuka was still the Party Leader as per the SODELPA constitution.
10 Jul 2020 13:00
Waqatairewa Insists Duituturaga Seeks Rabuka Help To Steer Party
From left: Emele Duituturaga, Usaia Peter Waqatairewa, and Sitiveni Rabuka.

Usaia Peter Waqatairewa, the former general secretary of the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA), is calling on the general secretary Emele Duituturaga to seek the assistance of Sitiveni Rabuka to steer the party out of its recent crisis.

In a statement issued last night, the financial member also claimed that Mr Rabuka was still the Party Leader as per the SODELPA constitution. He claims to have been informed of this by the Registrar of Political Parties Mohammed Saneem.

However, Mr Waqatairewa missed out the point that Mr Rabuka’s name is still in the records of the Registrar and not necessarily in accordance with the SODELPA Constitution.

He went on to say: “The former GS Hon. Adi Litia Qionibaravi advised the Working Committee on 2 June 2020 to advertise the GS position, and issue the 21 day notice for SGM so elections can be held before 30 June 2020. Alas this was disregarded and this totally preventable constitutional crisis is now facing the party after the lifting of its suspension on 29 June, 2020.

“The Registrar advised the Acting President on 18 June 2020 that his term expired on 30 June 2020. This was disregarded and the taskforce formed by the acting president purported to have the Management Board perform an unlawful act – to extend the Acting Appointments to November 28 for elections at the AGM. This was ineffective because the board does not have any authority to do this. Only the AGM can do that and the board in passing that resolution was usurping the role of the AGM,” he claimed.

Ms Duituturaga could not be reached for comments last night when this edition went to press.

More claims

Mr Waqatairewa further claimed a Fiji Sun article stating Mr Rabuka was no longer the party leader was incorrect.

However, as per their own constitution, Mr Rabuka’s term ended when SODELPA lost the general elections in 2018.

Mr Waqatairewa said: “It is unfortunate to see this tragic and despicable comedy of errors hindering the party from performing its role to advocate for the people of Fiji.

“I now call on the general secretary to consult and take direction from the Party Leader to get SODELPA out of this quagmire.”

“The SGM on 25 July, 2020 must as a constitutional requirement, elect a new president and three new VPs.

“The SGM agenda as published, does not include that election of office bearers, but section 18.3.4 of the SODELPA Constitution requires that this election take place, given the expiry of the casual appointments made 18 June 2020 for acting president and two acting VPs. The notice need not be re-issued, the GS must simply add this to the agenda for the meeting, so that these four positions can be substantively filled at the SGM.

“SODELPA voters and the nation cannot be made to wait until November 28, 2020 for the scheduled AGM. Elections for the president and three VPS must take place on 25 July, 2020.”

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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