SODELPA launches manifesto

aqela susu suva The Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) will uphold Christian principles and values if they get to run government after the September 17 general elections. This was revealed
19 Jul 2014 10:14

SODELPA youths.. From left: Ravu Nayacalevu, Lepani Delai, Paula Roko, Asivorosi Matewai, Toma Ruru, Dan Fox, Inoke Rokotuinamata and Tomasi Taletawa holding their manifesto after its launch yesterday. Photo: Jona Konataci

aqela susu

The Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) will uphold Christian principles and values if they get to run government after the September 17 general elections.
This was revealed by party leader Ro Teimumu Kepa while launching the party’s manifesto yesterday.
In doing so, Ro Teimumu said the party wished to exercise the freedom to restore God into a constitution that was owned by the people.
“Our manifesto affirms SODELPA will place God in his rightful position so that our people in this globalised world will have a strong sense of identity and purpose,” Ro Teimumu said.
“The religious freedoms of all citizens will be guaranteed; we will uphold Christian principles and values and ensure respect for all religious faiths and religious freedom of all citizens.”
She said the party did not want the advice of the Government on how to pray and they rejected what she called attempts to encourage worship of an unknown deity.
Ro Teimumu said the party would also repeal decrees that she said took away human rights.
“Our manifesto contains a pledge to abolish laws that suppress our freedoms and we will ensure that any limitations on them are justifiable in, and consistent with a free society.”
The party in its manifesto said it would allocate $50 million annually to subsidise the price of an approved list of VAT free basic food items.
It said that it would implement a comprehensive national rescue plan for the sugar industry and also revive the tourism industry.
They will ensure the promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women and create a strategic plan to empower young people.
The party would ensure that scholarship funds would be distributed equitably in proportion to the ethnic composition of the population and all scholarship policies would be based on merit.
The party’s manifesto also highlighted that it would repeal the Land Use Decree, abolish the Land Bank and initiate a national debate on a language policy in light of the banning of use of the indigenous language for the names of political parties.
“SODELPA asks how it is possible that the indigenous Fijians have become victims of a decree that denies their fundamental rights in law,” Ro Teimumu said.
The manifesto also stated that it would restore all indigenous rights that it claims have been removed or weakened, restore the Great Council of Chiefs and restore the independence of indigenous institutions.
It said that in agreement with other political parties SODELPA would explore ways of amending and repealing the 2013 Constitution through legal means.
The manifesto also revealed that it would provide free education from pre-school to secondary schools and also special schools.
Ro Teimumu said when SODELPA got into government after the September poll there was a need for reconciliation between the people and the military.
This, she said, would be possible through the setting up of a truth and reconciliation commission headed by an independent international jurist.
“It will give the people and the army an opportunity to say what went wrong and it will help find answers that to this day still remain elusive,” Ro Teimumu said.
“SODELPA intends that the commission will be tempered by the principles of restorative justice, forgiveness and mercy and the time-tested Fijian ceremonies of matanigasau will be part of the process.”
She concluded that the party would also commission a comprehensive review of the military’s operations and role and consult its leadership on the terms of reference.
The party is the second of the five registered political parties to launch its manifesto.

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