NEWS

Qarase Got Phone Call. But Will He Get Formal Approach?

There is growing support in SODELPA for Mr Qarase to take up the party leader role and lead the party into the 2022 General Election.
22 Apr 2019 13:00
Qarase Got Phone Call. But Will He Get Formal Approach?
Former Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, Opposition Leader Sitiveni Rabuka.

Laisenia Qarase says he is enjoying his retirement.

But the former Prime Minister did not specifically say whether he had quit politics and would not contest the SODELPA leader post.

Mr Qarase has remained non committal about his future in politics. He could still yet come out of retirement for his last hurrah in politics.

It is understood he was informally approached by phone and he said yes.

It would probably require a more formal approach before he would make an official decision.

Opposition leader and former party leader Sitiveni Rabuka has welcomed Mr Qarase contesting the party leader post.

But he said Mr Qarase needed to have the time and the energy.

Mr Rabuka has indicated he would like to return as party leader if it is constitutionally possible.

He had to resign as party leader after SODELPA lost the 2018 election.

There is no provision in the party constitution that allows him to be re-elected. It would require a constitutional amendment.

There is still the exciting prospect of a showdown between Mr Rabuka and Mr Qarase.

Mr Rabuka is quietly hoping that Mr Qarase would stay in retirement.

That will give him leverage to return as party leader.

Mr Qarase campaigned for the party in the 2014 election, but he had to step back to allow Ro Teimumu Kepa to raise her public profile as party leader.

He has since concentrated on his community service particularly volunteering as a consultant for his village Mavana commercial ventures in Vanuabalavu in Lau.

Edited by Percy Kean

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