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Bulitavu, 4 MPs Pardoned In Tense SODELPA Meeting

Outspoken SODELPA Opposition MP Mosese Bulitavu and four colleagues have been pardoned. The four, MPs Semesa Karavaki, Mikaele Leawere, Ro Kiniviliame Kiliraki and Aseri Radrodro, signed a letter with Mr
06 Dec 2015 10:50
Bulitavu, 4 MPs Pardoned In Tense SODELPA Meeting

Outspoken SODELPA Opposition MP Mosese Bulitavu and four colleagues have been pardoned.

The four, MPs Semesa Karavaki, Mikaele Leawere, Ro Kiniviliame Kiliraki and Aseri Radrodro, signed a letter with Mr Bulitavu calling for an inquiry into the controversial Gaunavinaka Report.

The pardon ruling came after high drama in the party’s management board meeting at the Jubilee Hall, Toorak, Suva, yesterday.

Board members from Vanua Levu threatened to walk out and quit the party if Mr Bulitavu was suspended.

There was a proposal that he be suspended following a complaint by Mick Beddoes (Opposition Office principal administrative officer) about Mr Bulitavu’s public outbursts against Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa. Mr Bulitavu was also accused of colluding with the Fiji Sun which also published his opinion on the chiefly system in Fiji. Mr Bulitavu had called on Ro Teimumu to step down pending an inquiry in the wake of the exposure of the Gaunavinaka Report. The report was critical of her leadership and the governance of the Opposition Office.

Chairman of the meeting Savenaca Kamikamica had asked Ro Teimumu to leave the room because she was linked to the discussion. But she refused. In the end Mr Kamikamica asked every board member of their opinion. The majority agreed to pardon Mr Bulitavu and the other four  MPs. Ro Teimumu was visibly not happy with the decision. She declined to comment. Mr Bulitavu was in Vatukoula yesterday attending a sister’s wedding and could not be reached to comment.

The pardons were originally part of an attempt by SODELPA president Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu to include Ro Teimumu, Mr Beddoes and others named in the Gaunavinaka Report. The move was designed to restore party unity. But the fate of Ro Teimumu and her group will be decided in the New Year.

The party in a statement last night said: “The Management Board vigorously debated and discussed the Investigating Report tabled from the Team led by Ambassador Anare Jale as well as the Report of the Disciplinary Committee led by Ambassador Emitai Boladuadua, today.

“After hearing the concerns and the outspoken and sincere views of its members, and through consensus, decided that with the clarifications provided to the Management Board, that its decisions should be based on fairness to all members involved, the integrity of the party, its political sustainability, and foremost the interests of all our members and voters as well as of the national interest.

“The Management Board appeals for the Party unity and petitions its voters and members to move forward with confidence in the leadership at all levels of its organisation structure and its processes.”

It was signed by Ratu Naiqama.

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