NEWS

Draunidalo To Lead Proposed Party

The announcement that Roko Tupou Draunidalo will lead the proposed HOPE party to the 2018 General Elections was expected. She had quit as president of the National Federation Party and
05 Mar 2017 10:58
Draunidalo To Lead  Proposed Party
New leader for the proposed HOPE Party, Roko Tupou Draunidalo.

The announcement that Roko Tupou Draunidalo will lead the proposed HOPE party to the 2018 General Elections was expected.

She had quit as president of the National Federation Party and resigned as an Opposition Member of Parliament on January 20, 2017 following her suspension from Parliament last year.

There is also an air of anticipation within the proposed party that the Opposition leader and former SODELPA leader, Ro Teimumu Kepa, may join forces with Roko Tupou.

Ro Teimumu is likely to be the proposed party “patron”, it is claimed from within the proposed party.

Her role, it is claimed, would be to guide and advise.

But Ro Teimumu is still with SODELPA in Parliament and has not given any public indication that she would join the proposed party.

Those working behind the scenes of the proposed outfit listed the following as reasons why Roko Tupou was chosen.

In a statement, proposed party vice president Pita Waqavonovono said the organising group was thrilled with Roko Tupou’s acceptance of the leadership role and that she would now take charge of the registration process.

“When the proposed HOPE is established, and registered professionals that will take the lead to usher in the change that the people of Fiji seek,” he said.

“The team that Roko Tupou takes charge of, have their own distinguished record of activism and advocacy for human rights, rule of law, multiculturalism, equality, fairness, justice and compassion for all, even those we don’t agree with.”

Roko Tupou had stood as a candidate for the Fijian Association Party (FAP) in the 2001 General Elections.  She contested in the Laucala Open Constituency and polled 248 votes out of more than 11,500 votes cast.

In the 2014 elections, she managed 2966 votes under the NFP umbrella.

From the outset, the proposed HOPE party has distanced itself from the other Opposition political parties who are engaged in talks for some sort of “co-operation”.

The idea was mooted by the SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka.

Like some of the founders of the proposed HOPE party, Roko Tupou strongly disapproved of Mr Rabuka leadership. Her social media posts validate this.

With the NFP now overtly engaged in talks for “cooperation” with other opposition parties, Roko Tupou’s resignation (in retrospect) was inevitable.

What lies ahead for the proposed party will be challenging.  They are already in full throttle with the signature drive in the four divisions around the country.

Once registered, voters can expect a manifesto similar to the original SODELPA one. At the heart of it is multi-racialism.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback: selita.bolanavanua@fijisun.com.fj

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