NATION

More Trouble For SODELPA Brewing

A new storm is brewing in SODELPA.  The controversy over the role of Litia Rawiriwiri, national president of the party’s women’s wing, has got some of the party’s members asking
08 Aug 2017 11:00
More Trouble For SODELPA Brewing
Litia Nawiriwiri outside the SODELPA party office on Monday August 7th, 2017. Photo:Jone Luvenitoga

A new storm is brewing in SODELPA.  The controversy over the role of Litia Rawiriwiri, national president of the party’s women’s wing, has got some of the party’s members asking questions.

Mrs Rawiriwiri, wife of Tui Kalabu Paula Rawiriwiri, is now under investigation by Police and FICAC for allegedly threatening women tenants of Kuluvota Moala Settlement at Nadera that if they did not vote for SODELPA they would be evicted.

She has denied the allegations.

When  Mrs Rawiriwiri first took up the position of national president Women’s Wing in 2015, many SODELPA supporters were not too happy about it.

Some were adamant that Mrs Rawiriwiri was only acting in the position and that an election was yet to be held to elect a national president.

However, SODELPA general secretary Adi Litia Qionibaravi yesterday confirmed that Mrs Rawiriwiri was indeed the national president.

But SODELPA insiders claimed women from Serua turned up in numbers  to a meeting to elect a national president.

They claimed they were there to vote against Mrs Rawiriwiri but the election did not take place. Instead, a public showdown took place between Mrs Rawiriwiri and the wife of a prominent SODELPA MP.

There was a heated exchange of words.

Many were apprehensive about Mrs Rawiriwiri’s inclusion in the party because of her past. She had spent time in jail.

The Mrs Rawiriwiri case is damaging the party’s image and causing concern to it. The concern has led to  attempts to downplay it. But it is not going away.

Yesterday, two SODELPA MPs from Naitasiri, Ro Kiniviliame Kiliraki and Aseri Radrodro defied a party ruling that they should not release a media statement on the issue. They have called for an investigation into the eviction threat claim. (Full story on page 20)

This is the last thing that SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka wants as the party builds its support for the election.

Will Mr Radrodro and Ro Kiviliame face the party’s disciplinary committee for defying a party directive? It’s a no-win situation for SODELPA. If the MPs are disciplined it might cause a division in the party. If no action is taken, some will question it as a matter of principle. Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj



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