SODELPA Suspension Lifted

Since the lifting of the suspension yesterday, the party can now operate and fully function as a political party.
30 Jun 2020 09:27
SODELPA Suspension Lifted
SODELPA members (from left to right) General Secretary Emele Duituturaga, Tanya Waqanika, youth president Jope Koroisavou and acting vice president Ratu Epenisa Cakobau at the Fijian Elections Office on June 29, 2020. Photo: Rosi Doviverata

It took the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) 34 days to fulfill requirements set out by the Registrar of Political Parties when it was suspended on May 26.

Since the lifting of the suspension yesterday, the party can now operate and fully function as a political party.

Registrar of Political Parties Mohammed Saneem, in a press conference, also confirmed Emele Duituturaga as SODELPA’s General Secretary and Registered Officer.

In a statement last night, SODELPA sought the forgiveness of supporters for letting them down.

The statement signed by Acting President, Vijay Singh, and the two Acting Vice Presidents, Ratu Epenisa Cakobau and Ratu Jone Lesuma, pledged that the party would work hard and deliver come 2022.

However, the fight will be more of an internal one.

Mr Saneem highlighted that prior to the receipt of the application yesterday morning, the Registrar received objections to the appointment from Pio Tabaiwalu, and Usaia Waqaitarewa – both were applicants for the position.

The Registrar enquired with party officials and determined that the General Secretary position in the party was an employee position.

“The party, as the employer, will have to deal with the appeals and objections from unsuccessful candidates for the position.”

He said Mr Tabaiwalu and Mr Waqaitarewa may directly seek to invoke the grievance clause of the Constitution or consider appropriate legal action.

He also noted that the Party Leader, Sitiveni Rabuka, did not sign the application.

However, this was not required as three out of four office holders had signed and satisfied the requirements of section 11(2)(b) of the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosures) Act 2013.

The party has called a Special General Meeting on 25 July 2020 at the Novotel Convention Centre in Lami.

Among other things, the adoption of the process for the selection of the party leader will be discussed.

Last night, newly-appointed Ms Duitututuraga said: “There’s an excitement in the air and we look forward to uniting the party and reaching out to everybody.

“I myself look forward to taking office getting cracking with what needs to be done.”

Edited by Rosi Doviverata

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