13 SODELPA MPs Seek Re-election

All but two SODELPA parliamentarians are seeking re-election. Ten confirmed yesterday that they wanted to return to Parliament after the 2018 general elections. They were: Semesa Karavaki, Ro Kiniviliame Kiliraki,
19 Jan 2017 11:00
13 SODELPA MPs Seek Re-election

All but two SODELPA parliamentarians are seeking re-election.

Ten confirmed yesterday that they wanted to return to Parliament after the 2018 general elections.

They were: Semesa Karavaki, Ro Kiniviliame Kiliraki, Viliame Gavoka, Anare Vadei, Aseri Radrodro, Salote Radrodro, Jiosefa Dulakiverata, Ratu Sela Nanovo, Mikaele Leawere and Ratu Suliano Matanitobua.

They were attending the 25th Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum at the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort, Natadola.

Three MPs Ratu Isoa Tikoca (suspended), Niko Nawaikula and Mosese Bulitavu could not be reached for comment but reliable sources said they too were seeking re-election.

The two who have not applied are Opposition leader Ro Teimumu Kepa and party president and suspended MP Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu.

They said they wanted to give way to younger blood.

More than 100 people have applied  for SODELPA tickets.

Ratu Suliano said all their applications had been given in and this was now up to the management board to decide.

Ratu Sela said, however, that recommendations made by the Multinational Observer Group following the 2014 elections needed to be implemented before the elections.

“Otherwise the 2018 election will not be fair,” Ratu Sela said.

Ratu Sela said this included the need for the Electoral Commission and the Supervisor of Elections to work hand in hand.

Mr Vadei said SODELPA had already started their “ground work” in different areas.

“Our aim is to increase our seats in Parliament and run Government after the elections,” Mr Vadei said.

“We have put a plan together to achieve this and need to work together to achieve our goal,” he said.

Ms Radrodro also echoed similar sentiments made by Ratu Sela. She said she hoped that the Media Decree would be reviewed.

“I say this because the media plays a pivotal role in the elections.

“We need to have a good watchdog.”

Ms Radrodro said the one constituency in the elections was a financial burden on Opposition parliamentarians.

“The $15,000 constituency allowance given for each MP should be handed straight to them rather than the party,” she said.

However, Mr Leawere said the decision to have the $15,000 given to the party was through a majority decision by party members.

“Of this, $5000 is given to each member and the remaining $10,000 from each member is used as administration costs,” Mr Leawere said.

“The decision was unanimous and I cannot comment on that (what Ms Radrodro said).”

National Federation Party leader Biman Prasad  said he would stand.

Colleague Prem Singh indicated he would contest but he wanted to sort out some issues first.

FijiFirst parliamentarians are not yet commenting on their plans.

Meanwhile,  the Fijian Elections Office [FEO] held its first meeting with the seven registered political parties at its headquarters yesterday. It began rolling out activities towards the 2018 general election.

Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem, met party representatives at the meeting.

He said: “The meeting provided a platform for the FEO to inform and advise the registered political parties of the upcoming activities and electoral calendar, as well as facilitate constructive discussions among those present.

“In attendance at the meeting with the Fijian Elections Office were representatives from:

Fiji United Freedom Party [FUFP];

Fiji Labour Party [FLP];

National Federation Party [NFP];

FijiFirst; and

Social Democratic Liberal Party [SODELPA]

With the exception of People’s Democratic Party [PDP] and One Fiji Party [OFP], whose representatives were not present.

Mr Saneem said: “The FEO is taking pro-active measures to keep all political parties informed and to facilitate discussions in the leadup to the 2018 General Election, as per the recommendations of the Multi-Observer Group [MOG] Report following the 2014 General Election.

“The MOG Report recommendation states that ‘The Fijian Elections Office should provide clear information materials in advance of the election, which includes the role of political party polling agents in the polling process.’

“Additionally, the MOG Report recommendation also states that ‘More comprehensive training for party polling agents on their role and responsibilities in the electoral process should be provided by political parties or other responsible bodies.’

“The registered political parties and the Supervisor of Elections have agreed to scheduled quarterly meetings throughout 2017.”


Edited by Maraia Vula


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