2000 Coup Convict Admits Mistake, Tries Legal Way

When I decided to take part in the 2000 Coup it was not a mistake because of the conviction I had in me, says Social Democratic Liberal Party provisional candidate
18 Sep 2018 12:06
2000 Coup Convict Admits Mistake, Tries Legal Way
SODELPA 2018 general election provisional candidate Simione Drole. Photo: Ronald Kumar

When I decided to take part in the 2000 Coup it was not a mistake because of the conviction I had in me, says Social Democratic Liberal Party provisional candidate Simione Drole.

Mr Drole, 51, has been an active member of SODELPA since 2014 and is a former civil servant who worked for the then Ministry of Works, Transport and Public Utilities until his involvement in the coup.

The Nadrau villager from Nadroga/Na­vosa said the realisation that what he had done was a mistake only dawned on him when he was arrested and imprisoned.

“Everything we do is based on a belief,” Mr Drole said.

“I believe in indigenous rights, but I real­ised that there is a legal way to do it and it is not through that (coup).

“At the time I was introduced to the idea I can say my mind was so vague and empty so the idea that came into my mind was not evenly processed because I was young as well.”

He said his conscience started to kick-in and he reasoned with himself when he real­ised that those who were championing and supporting him were gone.

“That is when you start to realise things when you start receiving the pain. Pain changes us, without it you will continue do­ing the same thing,” Mr Drole said.

He said the best way to show people that he had changed was to become a lawyer and an ambassador for law breakers not to break the law.

“I started studying law in 2012 then I try to appreciate what the law does for a commu­nity,” Mr Drole said.

“It is amazing. I did not even know the val­ue of law at that time until I studied it.

“Now as a new person I will go and advo­cate to the people to do things right, the le­gal way.”

Mr Drole will be campaigning in the Navo­sa highlands covering seven tikina namely Naqalimare, Bemana, Namataku, Nasi­kawa, Noikoro, Navatusila and Nadrau.

“My area is an undeveloped place and one major issue there is the issue of transporta­tion because it is an isolated location,” he said.

“The rate of wear and tear of the vehicles there is so high because of the bad roads and when vehicle owners transport people they put their charges high because they take into account the condition of the roads.”

His motivation to join politics is his belief that he has the qualities and attributes to be a good leader and help in the running of this country.

“It is my personal conviction that I can also become a political leader,” Mr Drole said.

“I stood for election in 2014 and I lost so I just want to try again and if not than I will become a full-time lawyer.”

Another issue that Mr Drole is passionate about is reducing the cost of living, adding that if he was elected he would ensure that policies were implemented to address the same.

Mr Drole also believes in a common iden­tity for all Fijian citizens.

He is a final year law student at the Univer­sity of the South Pacific and has extensive experience in the mining industry having worked as a civil engineer and project man­ager with Viti Mining Limited.

He has maternal links to Bua and his wife hails from Vanuabalavu in the Lau Group.

Edited by Percy Kean


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