NEWS

Analysis: Details About SODELPA Meet That Adi Litia Did Not Reveal

An “information paper” had proposed that SODELPA president Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu would act as party leader when the position is vacant. The constitutional amendment sought was rejected by the party’s
16 Sep 2018 11:14
Analysis: Details About SODELPA Meet That Adi Litia Did Not Reveal

An “information paper” had proposed that SODELPA president Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu would act as party leader when the position is vacant.

The constitutional amendment sought was rejected by the party’s management board on September1,  at Nawanawa, Nadera.

A copy of the paper, prepared by the secretariat, was supplied to the Fiji Sun by disgruntled members yesterday to correct a misleading paid advertisement in the Fiji Times by general secretary Adi Litia Qionibaravi.

She claimed that my report on September 14 was based on rumours, wishful thinking and half-truths.

The “information paper” (I called it working paper) says “an amendment to section 16.6.1 is proposed to change the appointing authority for the party leader from the General Assembly to the Management Board and to enable an acting appointment in the event of a casual or temporary vacancy in the party leader position.

“This is because it takes at least 21 days notice to convene the assembly, and given the party leader becomes Prime Minister if the party wins the coming elections, 21 days is too long to leave the position vacant, if there is any vacancy for any reason.

“The amendment also proposes that when there is a casual or temporary vacancy in the party leader position, that the default acting party leader is the party president (in this case Ratu Naiqama) until the Working Committee is convened to make a temporary acting appointment.

“This ensures that there is no ‘vacuum’ or ‘void’ where the party leader position is vacant while awaiting an acting appointment to be made.

“Where the Working Committee cannot be convened due to emergency or other extraordinary situation, the President continues to act as party leader, or he may appoint someone else as acting party leader.

This amendment would only be used in rare occasions where there is a national party emergency or any other extraordinary situation when the Working Committee cannot be convened to make a decision that is necessary for the party to continue to function and carry out its objectives.

“This is in line with the party president’s function in 18.1 (d) (iii) to have oversight of all party matters including strategic governance. This reserve or extraordinary power is granted to the president in his role in the good governance of the party, particularly due to unforeseen or extraordinary circumstances.

“In addition, in case an acting party leader takes the party to the elections, and the party wins the majority of parliamentary seats, the Management Board must be convened within 24 hours of the announcement of election results, to confirm the acting party leader’s status as substantative party leader and he becomes the Prime Minister.

If the acting party leader who has contested the elections does not get a seat in Parliament, the Management Board will be convened within 24 hours of the announcement of election results to a substantive party leader – it will be a permanent appointment. Section 16.1.1 will also be amended to make the Management Board the appointing authority for the party leader and the General Assembly requires 21 days notice to be convened.

he new party leader so appointed by the Management Board will become the Prime Minister.”

Using this scenario, if Mr Rabuka loses his court case on the alleged failure to declare certain assets and liabilities, Ratu Naiqama can appoint himself as party leader. From there it’s anybody guess what could happen.

If he changes his mind to contest the election and if SODELPA wins he could become the Prime Minister.

If it loses, he could become the Opposition leader.

Mr Rabuka told FBC News that the party would keep the door open for Ratu Naiqama if he wanted to stand.

He said the Working Committee would help facilitate it.

Adi Litia said in her advertisement that the constitution required the president to be an eminent national leader in his own right, it makes sense for the president to act as party leader in the event of an emergency.

What Adi Litia did not reveal  

On August 25, Kelemedi Naidiri, president of the Naitasiri South Constituency wrote to Ratu Naiqama and asked whether the management board had approved amendments to the constitution in an agenda of the September 1 special general meeting at Nawanawa Road in Nadera.

The notice of the meeting was advertised in a local newspaper.

There was no board meeting prior to the notice being published.

That’s why the board meeting was held before the SGM on the same morning.

Adi Litia said first she wanted the Fiji Sun to reveal its source.

Later, she said: “Whose version would you believe as correct? Would you believe my version as the authorised officer of the party or are you only interested in damaging the party and championing the views of people who cannot accept when they are advised that the Special General Assembly was duly convened by the Working Committee via the delegated authority of the Management Board?”

She said:

“I confirm that the Working Committee had approved the convening of the SGM (including the Agenda) under the delegated powers of the Management Board, and

“The Management Board was not convened for the reasons as you had suggested in your email today; “that the party could not hold the SGM without the board meeting ratifying the items on the agenda before it was released.”

“The Management Board had delegated its authority to convene the Annual General Assembly including Special General Assembly to the Working Committee. Convening the General Assembly or the Special General Assembly includes setting out the Agenda of such meetings including the requirements of Special Resolutions.”

(More on SODELPA tomorrow)

nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj




Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: