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Rabuka Eyes for SODELPA Post

This Saturday could see the return of Sitiveni Rabuka to politics in the SODELPA annual general meeting in Suva. He has indicated to close associates in the party that he
31 Aug 2015 16:11
Rabuka Eyes for SODELPA Post
A broken slide at Komo Park in Samabula. Photo: Shalveen Chand

This Saturday could see the return of Sitiveni Rabuka to politics in the SODELPA annual general meeting in Suva.

He has indicated to close associates in the party that he would attend.

There is a move in the party to solicit his service because of his wealth of leadership experience as a former Prime Minister of Fiji and leader of a political party, the former Soqosoqo ni Vakavulewa ni Taukei.

Mr Rabuka could not be reached to comment last night.

He has been eyed as one of the three vice-presidents, if proposed amendments to the party’s constitution are approved. At the moment the constitution has provision for two.

A third vice-president is recommended in the proposed amendments. It is believed the change represents the three traditional iTaukei confederacies of Burebasaga, Kubuna and Tovata. But the meeting may reject this idea and go for selection based on meritocracy.

Mr Rabuka is from Cakaudrove province, a constituent member of Tovata.

But he could face stiff resistance from the Lauan arm of Tovata which backs Opposition leader Ro Teimumu Kepa. Ro Teimumu is fiercely against Mr Rabuka because of his coup record. Mr Rabuka was the leader of the first coup in 1987.

She was influential in keeping Mr Rabuka out of the party when he applied for a ticket to contest the last election.

She could be placed in a precarious position if Mr Rabuka comes in.

It is understood that Ro Teimumu is scheduled to meet SODELPA president Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavutomorrow. It will be their first meeting in weeks since the leak of a controversial confidential report highly critical of Ro Teimumu’s leadership and the governance of the Opposition Office.

At around the same time Ratu Naiqama had written a letter to Ro Teimumu from Australia criticising her office for failing to consult the party about its response to the resignation of Mosese Tikoitoga as Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and the appointment of Commodore Viliame Naupoto as Acting Commander. Ratu Naiqama was not happy with the response which said the process was in order.

Tomorrow the two leaders are expected to meet in a last-ditch attempt to iron out issues before Saturday’s AGM as the rift between the Mosese Bulitavu group and Ro Teimumu faction widens.

MP and lawyer Mr Bulitavu who aligns himself with Ratu Naiqama,  is behind the call for an inquiry whereas the Ro Teimumu group wanted it discarded. But the inquiry will go ahead conducted by four independent investigators to be appointed.

The internal row took a new twist at the weekend when social media aligned with Ro Teimumu’s group tried to link lawyer Adi Litia Qionibaravi to banned Sydney indigenous activist Mereoni (Oni) Kirwin.

Adi Litia is a legal adviser to Ratu Naiqama. She was the person who advised Ratu Naiqama not to sign a document petitioning the International Court of Justice at the Hague for the return of Fiji to the descendants of the chiefs who ceded Fiji to Great Britain on October 10,1874. Adi Litia doubted the integrity and credibility of the movement.

Adi Litia could not be reached for comments last night. Her only contact with Ms Kirwin was brief.

She was asked by a senior SODELPA official to accompany Ms Kirwin to Somosomo. Adi Litia was heading there on her own to make a presentation to the Bose Vanua about SODELPA before the general election.

It is understood that a group in the party had tried to malign her because of her association with Ratu Naiqama who regularly seeks her legal opinion on a number of issues. Adi Litia has kept a low profile until now.

The AGM on Saturday is expected to be interesting.

 Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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