NEWS

Filimoni Vosarogo Eyed As Next Party Leader?

It is understood that the deputy leader post would be a stepping stone to becoming the party’s leader.
09 Apr 2019 12:37
Filimoni Vosarogo Eyed As Next Party Leader?
Fiji National Rugby League board chairman Filimoni Vosarogo

Suva lawyer Filimoni Vosarogo is being tipped as the next SODELPA leader.

Although Mr Vosarogo said last night he had not been approached, he was aware of talks to create a deputy party leader position.

“If that occurs, I may look at the criteria and consider a future in it,” he said.

But it is understood that the deputy leader post would be a stepping stone to becoming the party’s leader.

What was not clear last night was whether Opposition leader Sitiveni Rabuka had stepped down in accordance with the party constitution after SODELPA lost the 2018 General Election.

MP Adi Litia Qionibaravi, the party general secretary, said: “I don’t know anything about it. Where did you get this information from, because I am hearing it for the first time.”

Mr Rabuka was in Vanua Levu yesterday and could not be reached to comment.

If he continues as party leader, it is unconstitutional. A constitutional amendment is needed to allow him to carry on as leader.

The party also has provision that allows president and MP Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu to act as leader while the process of electing a new leader is conducted.

Mr Vosarogo was Mr Rabuka’s lawyer in the declaration of assets and liabilities case which was discontinued by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) last year.

It is understood that Mr Vosarogo is being groomed to become party leader.  This has not gone down well with those who had their own ambitions within the party.

Other likely candidates whose names had been floated around included Opposition Whip Lynda Tabuya, Adi Litia, MP Aseri Radrodro, Ratu Naiqama’s son MP Doctor Antonio Lalabalavu, MP Viliame Gavoka, MP Anare Jale, MP Ro Filipe Tuisawau and MP Salote Radrodro.

But they are all sitting MPs. It is proposed a party leader should not be an MP because he or she will have more time on his or her hands.

It is understood that a move to hold the party’s annual general meeting in Savusavu will limit the number of people from Viti Levu attending because of the cost. It will give the Vanua Levu bloc, which is backing Mr Vosarogo, a distinct advantage.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

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