NEWS

Oldest MPs Unlikely To Contest 2018 Poll

The two oldest sitting parliamentarians are unlikely to contest the 2018 general election. They are Leader of the Opposition Ro Teimumu Kepa and Minister for Foreign Affairs Ratu Inoke Kubuabola.
28 Apr 2016 09:05
Oldest MPs Unlikely To Contest 2018 Poll
Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa.

The two oldest sitting parliamentarians are unlikely to contest the 2018 general election.

They are Leader of the Opposition Ro Teimumu Kepa and Minister for Foreign Affairs Ratu Inoke Kubuabola.

Ro Teimumu will be approaching 73, while Ratu Inoke will be turning 70 at the time of the election.

Ro Teimumu has earlier indicated that this could be her last term in Parliament, after she was no longer needed by SODELPA to continue as party leader.

In June, SODELPA is expected to choose a new leader to prepare the party for the next election.

Before that, positions in the Opposition Office  should have been readvertised and filled.

They were among a raft of changes that the party decided last year, including major amendments to its constitution after internal bickering split the party.

The split between the reformers led by lawyer Mosese Bulitavu and the old guard led by Ro Teimumu was caused by  the exposure of the confidential Gaunavinaka Report, which was critical of Ro Teimumu’s leadership and the Opposition Office administration.

The party’s management board later pardoned everyone involved in that conflict.

The architect of the amended constitution, Adi Litia Qionibaravi, became party general secretary replacing  Pio Tabaiwalu.

Ro Teimumu carries on with her parliamentary responsibilities and is working hard to fulfill her goals, before she bows out.

 

Ratu Inoke Kubuabola

Ratu Inoke has worked extremely hard to establish relations with many countries since the 2006 takeover.

It is understood that at 68 he is getting weary after going on constant shuttle diplomacy over the years. He and President Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konrote had the distinction of serving as ministers in the governments of both Laisenia Qarase and Voreqe Bainimarama.

 

Viliame Gavoka

Viliame Gavoka, 66, is the third oldest MP in Parliament. The SODELPA MP will be 68 come 2018. There is no indication yet, whether he could follow Ro Teimumu and Ratu Inoke.

But he has emerged as one of the better speakers in the Opposition. He is articulate and speaks with power and passion.

He could be Opposition Leader material, but he is loyal and close to Ro Teimumu through the Nadroga traditional links.

With two years away from the election there is a sense of urgency emerging from parliamentary proceedings in the Opposition camp. When Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, 63, returns from his suspension next year, he will strengthen the Opposition lineup and is seen as a contender for the party leader role.

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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