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Radrodro Tipped To Be New Shadow Economy Minister

ANALYSIS: SODELPA MP Aseri Radrodro is likely to replace Biman Prasad as the new Opposition shadow economy minister. He has been shortlisted with colleague Ratu Sela Nanovo. His chartered accountant
29 Apr 2017 11:00
Radrodro Tipped To Be New Shadow Economy Minister
SODELPA MP Aseri Radrodro .

ANALYSIS: SODELPA MP Aseri Radrodro is likely to replace Biman Prasad as the new Opposition shadow economy minister.

He has been shortlisted with colleague Ratu Sela Nanovo.

His chartered accountant background makes him the ideal choice for the job.

Mr Radrodro was originally thought by his colleagues as likely to take up the position after the 2014 general elections.

But instead Opposition leader Ro Teimumu Kepa chose Mr Prasad, the National Federation Party (NFP) leader, who is an economist.

His appointment was not well received by members of the SODELPA caucus who felt that Mr Radrodro had been unfairly bypassed.

It created tension in the caucus, exacerbated by a decision to give the three NFP Members of Parliament the front bench.

Then the controversial Gaunavinaka Report was exposed. The report, which conducted an audit of the Opposition Office, was critical of Ro Teimumu’s leadership and the administration of the Opposition Office.

Concerned with these developments, party reformers sought changes to lift the party in preparation for the 2018 general election.

More than 18 months ago, they managed to amend the party’s constitution which effected sweeping changes. One of the changes was for Ro Teimumu to step down as party leader. Sitiveni Rabuka was later elected to replace her.

Mr Prasad has raised the profile of the NFP as the economy spokesperson for the Opposition. SODELPA MPs had felt that it was time that they took back the post because they were the majority partner.

Ro Teimumu said the new shadow minister would be known during the 2017/2018 national budget in June.

She said she would not be able to advise who the new shadow minister would be.

However, she said that at the moment, the Opposition only had two members in the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). They are Mr Radrodro and Ratu Sela.

“Our response to the Budget will be made by one of them,” Ro Teimumu said.

In a letter to Mr Prasad, she stated that SODELPA sincerely acknowledged him for accepting the nomination of being the chair of the PAC and for responding appropriately to both the Budget addresses of 2015 and 2016.

Ro Teimumu said the letter was written after Mr Prasad made it known that the NFP would not be in coalition with SODELPA.

“We made a nomination that he would be chair of the PAC and up until last year when the Standing Orders was amended, so the chairs of the standing committee were Government members,” Ro Teimumu said.

She said Mr Prasad, however, resigned from PAC and made it known that after the election NFP would not be in coalition with another party.

“For those two reasons we thought that as a caucus that it was time for us to look at our own shadow minister to deliver the response to the Minster of Economy’s budget address for 2017/2018.”

Mr Prasad said: “SODELPA being the largest party in Opposition, the leader of opposition had prerogatives to make the appointment and I was happy to be appointed the chairman.

“I was removed through a change in the Standing Orders led by Government.”

He said now he had been removed as the shadow minister for economy.

Mr Prasad, however, said that as NFP leader in Parliament, he would continue to raise every issue as he had done before.

He said he would be looking into and dissecting the Budget as he had done in the past.

Former SODELPA Youth leader, Peter Waqavonovono, said Mr Prasad did well.

Mr Waqavonono said he saluted Mr Prasad’s staff from NFP, who helped equip him with the information he used to improve debate on the Budget.

“He is a hard act for anyone in NFP or SODELPA to follow. SODELPA told Fiji that they wanted multiculturalism and multi-party unity. Now we see the manifestation of the GAUNAVINAKA agitators,” he said.

Feedback: losirene.lacanivalu@fijisun.com.fj

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