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PM: Is She Frightened?

SODELPA leader Ro Teimumu Kepa refusing a nationally televised debate with him has disappointed Voreqe Bainimamara. “Is she frightened?” the FijiFirst leader and Prime Minister asked in Savusavu yesterday. The
09 Sep 2014 09:44
PM: Is She Frightened?

SODELPA leader Ro Teimumu Kepa refusing a nationally televised debate with him has disappointed Voreqe Bainimamara.

“Is she frightened?” the FijiFirst leader and Prime Minister asked in Savusavu yesterday.

The SODELPA leader should be at the live FBC TV telecast to help clear the air about lies he said SODELPA is telling people, he said.

Mr Bainimarama added:“She now misses a golden opportunity to sit and talk about her party to the people and also listen to what FijiFirst has.”

He said the whole nation was looking forward to the live debate on FBC TV’s 4 The Record. Ro Teimumu should tell the nation the truth of her pulling out, he said.

“What is SODELPA hiding from the public?” the Prime Minister asked.

He said he wanted to ask Ro Teimumu why his name and the name of the Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, were used in the SODELPA manifesto.

SODELPA, he said, wanted to instil the mentality that iTaukei were weak simply to manipulate them and divide the nation.

”The truth is that we don’t need protection. We are the protectors. Among other things, we go out into the world as UN Peacekeepers to protect others.”

On the chiefs, Mr Bainimarama said they had their place in the iTaukei community and all should respect the chiefly system.

Also, more information is today emerging about why Ro Teimumu refused to participate in the live TV debate despite earlier challenging Mr Bainimarama to this.

FBC TV 4 The Record producer Edwin Nand said there had been indication she would. But then mails from her communications director Jese Sikivou said she would not.

Mr Sikivou posted a lengthy response on a number of Facebook pages giving his version of why Ro Teimumu pulled out of a debate she had issued an initial challenge for.

He said: “As SODELPA’s director of communications and the Gone Marama Bale’s private secretary, I manage her schedule both political and personal and as a practical decision, emailed Edwin Nand to decline the invitation to appear on FBC a second time due to scheduling conflicts.

“Yes I did ask Edwin for the show format, I also asked him about the questions and issue areas as well as the panellists he invited on the show. I do that will all bona fide journalists requesting interviews.

“That is my responsibility as the Director of Communications and forms a large part of the decisions I make regarding the Gone Marama Bale’s participation and the best use of her time. It also forms part of my briefing for her. Its (sic) called doing my job.

“Edwin’s answers allowed me to make a conscious decision on what advice I would commend to the Gone Marama Bale. After taking Edwin’s very prompt responses into consideration and given that the Gone Marama Bale had only recently appeared on FBC, I decided to decline their second invitation.”

Feedback: seruwaia.waqasaqa@fijisun.com.fj

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