Analysis | Politics

Court Appeal Foremost In Rabuka’s Mind. But Who Will Authorise It And Pay for It?

Foremost in his mind right now is the appeal which he has announced against the Civil High Court ruling against the party and its officials.
30 Apr 2020 14:51
Court Appeal Foremost In Rabuka’s Mind. But Who Will Authorise It And Pay for It?
Opposition leader and caretaker SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka, with wife, Suluweti, farewell former Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase as his funeral cortège travels along the Kings Road on Ratu Mara Road in Nabua yesterday on its way to the Nausori International Airport bound for Vanuabalavu.

Analysis:

Sitiveni Rabuka paid his last respects on the roadside at Nabua yesterday as the funeral cortège for the late Laisenia Qarase passed by.

If people are wondering why the Opposition leader and caretaker SODELPA leader did not travel to Mavana, Vanuabalavu, Lau, for the funeral there is one possible explanation.

Foremost in his mind right now is the appeal which he has announced against the Civil High Court ruling against the party and its officials.

A number of legal firms were rumoured to be considering taking up the appeal including Munro Leys. But it appears interests were not that strong.

It is understood lawyer Simione Valenatabua could lodge the appeal.

The party’s original lawyer, Filimoni Vosarogo, had decided that another law firm could do the appeal.

The other technical issue is a constitutional one. The party needs the management board’s approval to mount an appeal.

The president chairs that meeting. But there is no president right now after Ro Filipe Tuisawau was removed by the Registrar of Political Parties after the court judgment.

In the meantime, members are continuing to learn more about the judgment.

Their attention has been focused on Adi Litia Qionibaravi who has been reinstated general secretary.

The judgment revealed that Adi Litia still functioned as general secretary when she was elected vice-president last year.

She was being paid from $30,000 to $40,000 a year.

Excerpts from the judgment:

152. It can be ascertained from the Defendants case from paragraph 30 of the Defendants Affidavit that the Defendants do not deny that the 4th Defendant (Adi Litia) was the General Secretary of the SODELPA and that she was nominated and elected the Vice-President of the 1st Defendant whilst she held the former position of the General Secretary. The fact of the matter  is that the 4th Defendant admits holding the  position of the  General  Secretary  at  least  as  late  as  31st October 2019 where she formally handed over the affairs to the 5th Defendant who was appointed as the new General Secretary of the SODELPA on 12th August 2019. However, the 4th Defendant instead argues that after her election as Vice-President she did not assume her role in that position.

154. The 4th Defendants Election as Vice-Presidentof the 1st Defendant whilst being an employee and obtaining remuneration for her services as a General Secretary at the SODELPA of the material time of the election of the office bearers is in breach of Section 13.8.1 of the SODELPA Constitution.

160. The 4th  Defendant failed to comply with Section 12.5(a) of the SODELPA Constitution which required motions may still be tabled at the General Assembly Meetings on the approval of the chairperson only for urgent unforeseen matters.

161. The requirement to invite motions in terms  of  Section  12.5(a) at  least  four  months  prior  to  the AGM was not complied with.

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