Opinion

#Vote2018 – Analysis: Qereqeretabua Seeks Traditional Blessings

Adhering to traditional iTaukei protocols before taking part in national duties or service is an obligation many follow. This practice will increase rapidly as the General Election draws near. SODELPA
28 Mar 2018 10:00
#Vote2018 – Analysis: Qereqeretabua Seeks Traditional Blessings
From left: National Federation Party president Pio Tikoduadua, with provisional candidate Samuela Naicegucegu, vice president Seni Nabou and Lenora Qereqeretabua in Dravuni, Kadavu. Photo: NFP Facebook

Adhering to traditional iTaukei protocols before taking part in national duties or service is an obligation many follow. This practice will increase rapidly as the General Election draws near.

SODELPA politicians last year had paid a courtesy visit to Bau Island, seeking the blessing from the chiefly household to visit villages in Tailevu.

Bau is the apex of the Kubuna confederacy.

The protocol is a welcome interruption from the mundane activities in villages and iTaukei communities across the country.

Last week, National Federation Party provisional candidate, Lenora Qereqeretabua travelled to her village in Dravuni, Ono, Kadavu to present her isevusevu to their Turaga ni Yavusa, her cousin, Kitione Qereqeretabua.

She was accompanied by her husband Poasa Qiri, party President Pio Tikoduadua, vice-president Seni Nabou, provisional candidate Samuela Naicegucegu and members of the NFP youth wing.

Ms Qereqetabua said the reception from her fellow villagers was positive.

“It was basically a courtesy visit to let them know that I will be standing in the upcoming general election,” she said.

Most were keen to take part in the election process and were eager to have their registration requirement in order before polling.

Apart from her strong views posted on social media about current issues, Ms Qereqeretabua, for the time being, counts on invitations from those in the community to promote her candidacy.

This includes community talanoa sessions.  Her communication skills and ability to articulate arguments is a strength Ms Qereqeretabua is blessed with.

But she knows that at the moment, she has yet to experience the ‘hectic’ life of an election candidate – even as a provisional one.

“I know it’s going to get hectic, but the hectic part hasn’t started yet.”

In an earlier interview, Ms Qereqeretabua said she was inspired to run the political race for a number of reasons.

“You know, I want to see so many things change in Fiji, change for the better,’’ she said.

“I can write letters to the editor until the cows come home, I could rant and rave on social media until my fingers hurt, but the decisions that affect all of our lives, from freedom of the media, to freedom to worship, from how many cars come off the wharves annually, to retirement age, from the cost of basic food items to how we protect our natural resources, are all made in Parliament.

“I want to be in government so the voices of those that believe in what I believe in are heard, and so that the laws needed to do this are developed, written and passed in an open and transparent way.

“I was born and brought up in the Western side, and the NFP represents what I believe in: a multi-racial Fiji where we respect each other’s differences, where no one is above the law, and where if we want to lead, we must first serve.”

Edited by George Kulamaiwasa

Feedback:  rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj

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