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Felix in PDP saga

Felix Anthony, the general secretary of the Fiji Trades Union Congress, was present at the People’s Democratic Party meeting where the memorandum of understanding with SODELPA was decided. This was
30 Jan 2018 09:50
Felix in PDP saga
Trade unionist Felix Anthony (left) and Lynda Tabuya.

Felix Anthony, the general secretary of the Fiji Trades Union Congress, was present at the People’s Democratic Party meeting where the memorandum of understanding with SODELPA was decided.

This was revealed yesterday by the Registrar of Political Parties and Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem, in a media release.

It is understood that Mr Anthony, who was the PDP leader prior to and during the 2014 general election, was there as an adviser.

After a failed election bid, Mr Anthony resigned as party leader and returned to his FTUC job.

Mr Saneem also revealed that despite having four lawyers present at the meeting, including Lynda Tabuya and Vijay Singh, both now with SODELPA, they failed to adhere to the PDP’s constitution and the meeting did not have a quorum.

Mr Saneem made these revelations while lifting the suspension of PDP. The party was suspended for 30 days from December 28, 2017.

The Registrar in his letter to PDP, also made known the following findings:

1. Meeting of Management Board on December 7, 2017:

It is noted that the minutes of this meeting were recorded by (the now resigned) Lynda Tabuya (the then President) and not the General Secretary as required by the PDP Constitution. The Registrar notes that the Constitution of PDP requires the presence of 5 Management Board members as the necessary quorum.

In this case, it is noted that Felix Anthony, despite being present in the meeting, was not a member of the Management Board and therefore the Meeting on 07 December 2017 did not meet the quorum required pursuant to clause 11.3 of the PDP Constitution.

It is believed Mr Anthony was at the meeting as an adviser.

2. Office of the president of PDP:

Following the resignation of Lynda Tabuya as party President, the PDP was required under clause 19.3 of the PDP Constitution to ‘temporarily fill the vacancy via a vice president voted by a majority of the Management Board.’ “We find that PDP has 4 vice president positions as per clause 20.1 of its Constitution and any of these 4 were eligible.”

3. It is noted that only Vijay Sigh resigned as vice-president of the party. Therefore, the PDP should, according to its Constitution, have three other remaining vice presidents. On the basis of the above findings, the Registrar has found that the absence of various office holders in PDP breaches its own Constitution and has therefore required the PDP to rectify this breach. The follow-on effect will facilitate the application under section 11 of the Act to be properly made.

The office of the Registrar has taken this step to ensure that the party is able to remedy the breaches and also urges office holders of all parties to ensure that they properly check the requirements under the Act and the Party Constitution in the performance of their functions therein.

PDP has until February 28, 2018 to remedy the breach, Mr Saneem said, but should they fail to do so de-registration procedures under the Act would be activated.

“Following the receipt of various documents from the PDP, we have established that the officials had neglected and/or failed to ensure that they had properly implemented the requirements of the PDP Constitution in particular, in relation to the appointment of an acting President following the resignation of Lynda Tabuya so that the Party was able to duly comply with the requirements of section 11 of the Act,” Mr Saneem explained.

“We have therefore lifted the suspension so that PDP can hold a proper management board meeting as per its Constitution and then appoint various office holders who can then sign off on the application required under section 11 of the Act.”

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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