NEWS

Tabuya Admits Joining SODELPA In Bid To Get Into Parliament

Former People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Lynda Tabuya admits that she joined the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) in an attempt to enter Parliament. Following her move, the newly-announced candidate
14 Dec 2017 11:05
Tabuya Admits Joining SODELPA  In Bid To Get Into Parliament
Peoples Democratic Party Presaident Lynda Tabuya. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Former People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Lynda Tabuya admits that she joined the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) in an attempt to enter Parliament.

Following her move, the newly-announced candidate said she wanted other “smaller” parties to follow suit.

Responding to an email, she said: “To affect change and fight for the rights of the workers we need to get into Parliament; SODELPA is the answer.

“My plan is to serve the people of this great nation. I truly believe that the best way we can do that is to unite and fight the elections under one banner.”

Ms Tabuya said she wanted to scrap the Tertiary Education Loans Scheme (TELS), a fund designed to assist students aiming to pursue higher education – if elected into Government.

“Any government that burdens its own children is not interested in the future,” Ms Tabuya added.

Yet many recent graduates say the scheme has been of great help to them.

Tevita Galu, 22, a farmer’s son who passed out yesterday at the Fiji National University graduation ceremony said his academic future without TELS would have come to a premature end.

“My parents were not able to support me financially since they don’t earn much money as farmers,” he said.

“I don’t think I would have graduated without TELS.”

Alivoso Iosefo Rauto, who graduated with a Bachelor of Education (Secondary), shared similar views.

He said: “I received help from TELS in my final year of studies and without it I wouldn’t have reached very far.”

Earlier this month, Ms Tabuya denied rumours that she was part of the 51 tentative SODELPA candidates list for the 2018 General Elections and maintained her position as PDP leader.

But she resigned two days later and was subsequently announced as a SODELPA candidate in the first list of 30, along with PDP interim president Vijay Singh.

Ms Tabuya said her political plans included uniting all Fijians and hoped that her joining SODELPA would “spur” other leaders to do the same.   

SODELPA, currently led by Sitiveni Rabuka, has openly campaigned against the common use of the word Fijians to identify all citizens of Fiji. It has also extolled Christian principles as a tool for governance, risking alienation of other religious groups.

Current and former PDP members expressed dismay at Ms Tabuya’s move, claiming it was done without any prior consultation.

To this Ms Tabuya responded: “We are inviting all PDP members to contact us about ways to contribute and join our working committees on workers’ issues and other important areas we need to address to take our country forward.”

The former leader also said she would lobby for the reinstatement of the Great Council of Chiefs, which she said formed a “proper channel” of consultation with landowners.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

Feedback:  sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

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