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Analysis: SODELPA Sinks Deeper In Quagmire As Row Escalates

Analysis: SODELPA Sinks Deeper In Quagmire As Row Escalates
From left: Opposition leader Ro Teimumu Kepa, SODELPA Party president Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu and SODELPA Party leader Sitiveni Rabuka in Suva on July 13, 2018. Photo: Facebook
July 18
10:51 2018

Despite attempts to try to resolve the serious split in SODELPA ranks, the row between the two main factions continue to escalate.

The latest public spat was sparked by a Facebook posting from a provisional candidate who is a prominent member of the Sitiveni Rabuka camp.

The provisional candidate has been seen in several of the party leader’s campaign meetings, but she is not as visible as Lynda Tabuya.

In her posting, she said: “During our Suva SODELPA Constituency awareness and also private conversations with individuals, 2 names are often mentioned as performing MPs – Honourable Salote Radrodro & Honourable Niko Nawaikula. I add Honourable Mere Samisoni to this list given her response to the debate and Honourable Biman Prasad with his Budget presentation. Let’s call a spade a spade.

“I  credit this Government for televising live all the parliamentary sittings as it allows everyone to actually see who is performing, constantly sleeping, arrogant,  lying and those MPs that are merely there as a rubber stamp without contributing anything contructive whatsoever.

“People are now saying that they want MPs that will speak on facts, approachable, speak on the issue and will fight for the truth.

“Some Constituencies are already saying that their MPs do not visit them. Some are also saying that they have no idea who to go to in Government as the power vests only with 2 people.”

The remarks are a serious indictment on the conduct and performance of SODELPA MPs except for Ms Radrodro and Mr Nawaikula.

It’s also an insult to the MPs when even the newest MP Mere Samisoni and National Federation Party leader Biman Prasad were recognised for their contribution to the Budget debate.

SODELPA Economy spokesperson Aseri Radrodro was overlooked. There was also no mention of Opposition leader Ro Teimumu Kepa, MPs Viliame Gavoka, Semesa Karavaki, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, Jiosefa Dulakiverata and Tui Namosi Ratu Suliano Matanitobua.

Except for Ratu Naiqama, a Rabuka ally, the rest are understood to be in Ro Teimumu’s camp.

Some of these MPs are not happy with her remarks. They are questioning her audacity. They say it sounded like the provisional candidate, a newcomer to the party, was speaking from a position of authority.

Her posting has attracted a mixed bag of responses, mainly from party supporters. But it clearly isolates the Ro Teimumu camp.

While the provisional candidate is exercising her freedom of expression, her remarks have not gone down well with especially the older folks.

Responses are being shared privately by the Ro Teimumu camp which has decided not to be drawn into a public exchange.

But it has not been able to stop the social media chatter from supporters of the two sides. It is understood that the provisional candidate has refused to put down her posting despite pressures from various people. It means she stands by her statement and is prepared to take the rap for it.

It indicates that SODELPA is sinking fast into the political quagmire.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra


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