Analysis | Politics

Purge Not Complete

Without that support, he is like a lame-duck leader because he has to tow the party line. The incoming new officials obviously are going to make some changes in policy direction and he is required to comply.
19 Jun 2020 11:40
Purge Not Complete
Party Leader Sitiveni Rabuka during the suspended SODELPA Management meeting at Holiday Inn on June 18, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Analysis:

The purge in suspended SODELPA of radical elements went as expected yesterday.

The moderates have taken control of the suspended party by dominating the election of interim officials in the governing body – the Management Board.

The same cannot be said yet until the suspended parliamentary caucus is also under their control.

That will complete the purge.

Suspended Opposition leader and caretaker party leader Sitiveni Rabuka, who supported the radical and extremist group led by Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu in the Kshatriya Hall meeting, must be feeling lonely without his administrative backup support of Ratu Naiqama, removed president Ro Filipe Tuisawau, removed general secretary Usaia Waqatairewa and removed vice president Adi Litia Qionibaravi. Adi Litia was a key figure in the drafting of changes to the party constitution.

Without that support, he is like a lame-duck leader because he has to tow the party line. The incoming new officials obviously are going to make some changes in policy direction and he is required to comply.

His only remaining space is in the caucus. Does he have enough support there to wield his influence and work towards regaining support in the party?

If some members of the caucus rebel against the new party leadership they could be disciplined and even expelled.

A preliminary count shows support is evenly spread between the two rival factions.

The moderates need to convince the party to have a deputy caucus leader.

Another move that will entrench the moderates in the caucus is for Mr Rabuka to return the economy portfolio to Aseri Radrodro.

The new leadership will also review the whole staffing structure of party HQ and the Opposition Office.

The big task is to prepare the party for the AGM in September or October.

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