Bainimarama Vs Rabuka

It will be a star heavyweight billing – Sitiveni Rabuka going head to head with Voreqe Bainimarama in the 2018 General Eections. It’s an interesting prospect if Mr Rabuka wins 
04 Jun 2016 12:21
Bainimarama Vs Rabuka
Right-Sitiveni Rabuka, SODELPA Leader Nominee Left-PM Voreqe Bainimarama

It will be a star heavyweight billing – Sitiveni Rabuka going head to head with Voreqe Bainimarama in the 2018 General Eections.

It’s an interesting prospect if Mr Rabuka wins  the SODELPA’s  party leader tussle on June 25.

Four days after he announced his candidacy for the SODELPA party leader contest, Mr Rabuka’s support is growing rapidly. Inside party sources say disillusioned SODELPA supporters, disenchanted by the party performance to date and have turned their back on SODELPA, are returning. They say they see a party taking a new and fresh direction under Mr Rabuka.

But they add there is no illusion about the massive challenge he faces against Mr Bainimarama. Mr Bainimarama is still untouchable in the lead-up to 2018. It would take a huge effort to bridge the gap.

That’s why Mr Rabuka starts as the underdog.


Equality for all and no one is left behind. A Fiji where everyone enjoys freedom, better education and better standard of living, peace and prosperity

His down-to-earth approach makes him popular with the ordinary people. It’s common to see him sitting with people from all ages, particularly the young and discussing their hopes and aspirations. His famous talanoa sessions have now become an effective tool of communication for managers and administrators. The FijiFirst won the 2014 General elections on the wave of his popularity.

social reforms:
Under his leadership the FijiFirst has undertaken some of the most radical social reforms the country has ever seen. The subsidy for the poor, elderly, physically disabled, and free education from kindergarten to secondary schools plus free bus fares are some of the hallmarks of his Government’s reforms.

Ultra-nationalistic ideologies:
He shuns them because they are in conflict with provisions of the Constitution on equal citizenry and common identity. He has stood firm despite calls to reinstate the Great Council of Chiefs and accusations that he has systematically dismantled iTaukei institutions.

The Republic of Fiji Military Forces is totally loyal to Mr Bainimarama. He has led from the front and same time improved their remuneration package and their general wellbeing in a big way. He was a popular and respected RFMF Commander.



A one Fiji where all communities move forward together embracing differences of culture, ethnicity and religion.

For someone whom a large section of our society despised for his lead role in the 1987 military coups to bounce back is a testament of his resilience and popularity. Some might have written him off prematurely after his SVT party was decimated in the 1999 general elections.
He had then come the full circle, from a pro-indigenous nationalist voice to an all-embracing government of national unity advocate riding on an earlier call for a common name or identity. He thinks FijiFirst has the winning formula and he wants to emulate that but with his own modifications.

social reforms:
He has not disclosed his ideas yet but those close to Mr Rabuka say he is big in self-reliance. Reflecting the years he was growing up Mr Rabuka believes in the value of sacrifice and hard work. His associates say Mr Rabuka thinks freebies are vote-buying gimmicks.
In his day, parents worked hard to put their children to school. He thinks freebies don’t necessarily help improve education standards.

Ultra-nationalistic ideologies:
He was there in 1987 and he knew what it was like. He was used by some powerful politicians to stage the coups in the supposed name of indigenous interests. He later realised it was wrong and not good for this country.
Since then he has been championing unity and moving away from those who preach division, in the same vein as Mr Bainimarama. He faces a major task to convert remnants of Laisenia Qarase’s SDL government and pro-indigenous activists in SODELPA who spend quite a bit of time on the international circuits pushing for indigenous group rights

He is still respected in some areas of the military fraternity because his legacy there has not been forgotten. He was also a former RFMF Commander and a former prime minister.




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