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Tupou: ‘Rabuka A Fiji Wrecker, Rabuka: ‘Tupou Not Mature As Leader, Lawyer’

HOPE leader Tupou Draun­idalo and SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka yesterday traded verbal blows. The exchange shows the gloves are off as the 2018 General Election campaign heats up. Ms Draunidalo
27 Sep 2018 13:33
Tupou: ‘Rabuka A Fiji Wrecker, Rabuka: ‘Tupou Not Mature As Leader, Lawyer’
Leaders Clash, HOPE party leader Tupou Draunidalo and SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka.

HOPE leader Tupou Draun­idalo and SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka yesterday traded verbal blows.

The exchange shows the gloves are off as the 2018 General Election campaign heats up.

Ms Draunidalo told Mr Rabuka: “You are only known for one thing – coup culture.”

She was responding to Mr Rabuka who stated that she was only criti­cising him to seek public attention.

Mr Rabuka retorted that she was immature as a party leader and lawyer.

Ms Draunidalo said Mr Rabuka was best avoided.

She said: “I’m known for human rights defence, constitutional law matters, personal sacrifices for public service including political leadership inside and outside of Parliament. I was elected to the current par­liament. In contrast, he’s known for one thing only. Coup culture.

“Of course, he has a bad history for Fiji and Government. Ruined governance in general and ruined the institutions of Government including the military. When he lost in 1999, what followed? 2000 coup and a mutiny. Pri­vate investment potential and environment that survived after 1987 diminished even more. He’s best avoided,” Ms Draunidalo said.

Mr Rabuka hit back and said: “She is a law­yer and she should respect institutions of law like the High Court of Fiji where this matter was dealt with. The matter about coup – that has already been dealt with constitutionally and only shows her immaturity as a party leader and a trained lawyer. She should be above that.”

Ms Draunidalo said: “I’m a leader of a politi­cal party, it’s my job to bring attention to is­sues we stand for… first among which is the low levels of private sector investment (for more jobs, wages, better hospitals and schools). All down because of his coup.

“I was elected to the current parliament. I did so well I’m a hermit avoiding attention in public places unless I’m working. My friends refuse to lunch with me in case there’s too long a line of lovely people, well-wishers. In contrast, I don’t know who Rabuka is. Nei­ther do half the country. Those who do, know him for one thing only- coup man. Wrecker of Fiji.”

After Ms Draunidalo came out hitting hard against Mr Rabuka’s decision to run for elec­tions again, SODELPA supporters flooded social media with an old newspaper clipping of Ms Draunidalo’s mother- Adi Kuini Speed forgiving Mr Rabuka.

Adi Kuini was married to Prime Minister Dr Timoci Bavadra who was deposed in the 1987 military coup by then Colonel Sitiveni Rabuka.

After Dr Bavadra died, Adi Kuini married Clive Speed, a well known Australian journal­ist recruited to work for the Fijian Ministry of Information.

Ms Draunidalo said of her mother forgiving Mr Rabuka: “Of course she did. We all did but personal forgiveness is about personal issues to our family etc. All water under the bridge. But personal issues have NIL to do with gov­ernance issues, Government and the public of Fiji.

“Very separate things. The very fact that SO­DELPA doesn’t understand the difference tells us what they think of Government, that Gov­ernment will be their personal possession. Sorry to correct you SODELPA, it’s not your personal possession. Government belongs to the people who pay for everything.

“Just like how NBF money belonged to the people not that coup maker and his gang,” she said.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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