Some are calling it the Lynda Factor. They are referring to the impact Lynda Tabuya, SODELPA’s newest gain, has so far had on the party. Since joining SODELPA as a
19 Jan 2018 11:45
From left: Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa and SODELPA candidate Lynda Tabuya.

Some are calling it the Lynda Factor.

They are referring to the impact Lynda Tabuya, SODELPA’s newest gain, has so far had on the party.

Since joining SODELPA as a candidate for the election, the former leader of the suspended People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has made her presence felt in the party in a dramatic way.

She was able to convince SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka to  sign a memorandum of understanding that allows PDP members to contest the general election on SODELPA tickets. That MOU is now subject of scrutiny within the party.

Under that arrangement, former PDP president Vijay Singh was elected a vice-president of SODELPA. But the Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem ruled that Mr Singh’s election had breached the Political Parties decree. He referred the matter to FICAC (Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption).

The MOU, originally touted as a landmark agreement, has become a “problem document” for SODELPA, and a setback for Ms Tabuya because of its implications. The big implication, and this is not lost on some members, that the Vijay Singh incident, would be used by political opponents to show that SODELPA is not ready to govern this country. It’s a governance issue. If the party could not get it right with what should have been a simple straightforward election, how can it run a government. The fallout from this could affect her standing in the party.

All her good work so far for the party is being tainted by the MOU and the Vijay Singh incident.

Since her naming as a SODELPA candidate, Ms Tabuya has helped in catapulting SODELPA to the top of the list of political parties trying to capitalise on the Air Terminal Services dispute between a group of workers and the management. She has been at the frontline, leading the charge for SODELPA in the industrial relations scene, fighting for workers’ rights.

She was the only woman with a loud hailer urging the marchers on during the Nadi march, organised by the Fiji Trades Union Congress, through Nadi town last Saturday. The march was in support of the group of striking ATS workers.

She was responsible for SODELPA taking ownership of the dispute on the political front.

Ms Tabuya’s frank and open style, however, has not been received well in some quarters of SODELPA because it’s different to what they are used. There is speculation that she has been groomed as a future leader after Mr Rabuka and Ro Teimumu Kepa, Opposition leader.

Ro Teimumu is expected to assume a leadership role and will be the senior mentor for the women candidates that so far include Ms Tabuya, fellow lawyer Tanya Waqaniika, sitting MP Salote Radrodro, business woman Mere Samisoni and A. Narayan.

Ro Teimumu has been a trend setter for dress and etiquette and is widely respected in an environment where culture and traditions are observed. There are no written rules but there is a general understanding.

For newcomers into the party like Ms Tabuya, Ro Teimumu will be their role model. It is understood, Ms Tabuya will have no problem with that.


Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa.

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