NATION

Beddoes Did SODELPA a Favour by Resigning

  Mick Beddoes had a done a favour for many SODELPA officials by resigning. The outgoing principal administration officer in the Opposition Office had stood in the way of the
23 Dec 2015 10:37
Beddoes Did SODELPA  a Favour by Resigning

 

Mick Beddoes had a done a favour for many SODELPA officials by resigning.

The outgoing principal administration officer in the Opposition Office had stood in the way of the restructuring of the office.

Mr Beddoes had not been co-operative when he was asked to provide a joint committee with the job description of the 11 staff of the Opposition.

The joint committee of  SODELPA’s parliamentary caucus and the party’s management board had been tasked with reviewing the Opposition Office. The mandate was given after a special general meeting approved an amended party constitution which called for sweeping changes in the party and the Opposition Office governance.

Mr Beddoes had called for a postponement in the voting to allow for more discussions on the amendments. But among the changes is the advertising of the Opposition Office and party headquarters staff positions plus the role of party leader held by Opposition leader Ro Teimumu Kepa.

She was deemed to have relinquished the post after SODELPA lost last year’s general election.

The Opposition Office staff advertisements were delayed because of communication problems between Mr Beddoes and the committee. Mr Beddoes had questioned the authority and membership of the committee.

Some senior members of the party had privately called for Mr Beddoes’ dismissal because he had violated the party’s media rule. The rule stated that only the president, general secretary and party leader can issue media statements. The decision would come from the management board. At the earliest, it would meet next month.

Mr Beddoes knew it was inevitable he would go so he was not going to hang around for it.

He had been unpopular with many members of the party who disagreed with his hostile attitude against the Fiji Sun.

They were also unhappy with some of the media statements produced from the Opposition Office without consultations  with the party.

One example was the climate change statement after COP21. Ro Teimumu said she would call the Great Council of Chiefs to discuss a proposal that iTaukei landowners give part of their land to accommodate climate change refugees from overseas.

This was never discussed by the party and sounded like a major new party policy.

Mr Beddoes’ postings on his Facebook page about the outcome of the investigations into the controversial Gaunavinaka Report was the final straw for many SODELPA officials. The report was critical of the governance of the Opposition Office and the leadership of Ro Teimumu.

In a heated exchange of emails after Mr Beddoes’ postings, MPs and officials said enough was enough. Questions were asked why Mr Beddoes was allowed to ignore the media rule when many were respecting it.

But they could not do much because he had the support of Ro Teimumu.

With Mr Beddoes gone, we can expect to see changes happening quickly in the Opposition Office.

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj



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