ANALYSIS: Sitiveni Rabuka’s Woes Not Going Away Easily

The outcome of the latest Fiji Sun-Razor opinion poll has added weight to an internal SODELPA move to discuss the future of party leader Sitiveni Rabuka. The poll reveals that
02 Jun 2018 11:37
ANALYSIS: Sitiveni Rabuka’s Woes Not Going Away Easily
SODELPA Leader Sitveni Rabuka with Lynda Tabuya (left) outside FICAC office after he was formally charged on May 25, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

The outcome of the latest Fiji Sun-Razor opinion poll has added weight to an internal SODELPA move to discuss the future of party leader Sitiveni Rabuka.

The poll reveals that 60 per cent of those interviewed feel that Mr Rabuka should re­sign while his case is being heard in court.

Mr Rabuka and his support group are ex­pected to resist this move arguing that eve­rything should wait until the court makes its ruling.

But the opposing group says the party and the court process should be separated to allow the party to move forward with its election campaign. This means that Mr Rabuka should step down as leader, other­wise the party is still tied to the case.

There is genuine concern internally in some quarters about the impact of this case on the party.

There was talk this week of the possibil­ity of convening a special general meeting soon to talk about outstanding issues and an update of where the party is at about the election campaign. The Rabuka issue is expected to be also on the agenda. There are party members who are curious to know about the party’s future.

Meanwhile, Mr Rabuka this week was in Rakiraki and Lautoka holding pocket meetings and carrying on as normal.

In a political opinion column in the Fiji Sun today he has discussed some of the is­sues he has been telling the electorate. He is highly critical of Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama’s leadership and what he de­scribes as FijiFirst Government claims, comparing his FijiFirst Government achievements and those by previous gov­ernments including his SVT government.

In the latest war of words between the po­litical leaders, Mr Bainimarama also had a dig at Mr Rabuka and National Federa­tion Party leader Biman Prasad during the commissioning of the $8 million Veivueti multipurpose vessel on Thursday.

He said: “As we mark another historic milestone, another first for Fiji, we now just have to wait and see what desperate critiques the Opposition musters up to be­little these accomplishments.

“Flip a coin—we’ve either spent too much or too little. Or perhaps they’ll make another empty and totally unobtainable promise. In line with the steady stream of empty promises and flat-out lies of SO­DELPA and NFP, perhaps they’ll now vow to build the world’s fastest mobile hospital which will provide miracle cures.”

He said SODELPA and NFP were not guided by realism. He added SODELPA and NFP weren’t driven by principle. They were driven by desperate attempts to re­main relevant in an economy where all of their accusations and critiques had been proven wrong.

“They now resort to one strategy and one strategy alone: throw whatever they can at the wall and see what sticks. Unfortunate­ly for them, nothing is sticking.”

He said the Fijian people knew better.

“Fijians have seen that my Government’s promises are ambitious, and they are groundbreaking. But most importantly, Fijians have seen my Government’s prom­ises fulfilled.”

He said if the economy was a ship, he had proven the ability to steer it through chop­py waters, and stay on course to arrive at a more prosperous future.

“The current head of SODELPA has been at the helm of this ship before—and he quickly sank it to the bottom of the Pa­cific. The current head of NFP has never steered a ship and does not have the capac­ity to do so.”

Mr Prasad responded: “The Prime Minis­ter may have been a good captain of a navy boat during his career in the Fiji navy, but he is least qualified to be at the helm of the nation. He has been leading both a rudder­less regime and the FijiFirst Government since December 2006 with grandiose words that keeps changing when their objectives cannot be achieved.

“He has been steering a ship full of fat cats and cronies resulting in the widening gap between the rich and the poor. And we will be showing evidence of this in Parlia­ment during the Budget session.”

For Mr Rabuka the comments by Mr Bainimarama are not his biggest immedi­ate worry. His his biggest challenge will be from within SODELPA itself.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce


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