Politics

Rabuka Out As SODELPA Leader, Party In Constitutional Crisis

Saneem: SODELPA is now in a constitutional crisis
08 Jul 2020 09:37
Rabuka Out As SODELPA Leader, Party In Constitutional Crisis
Leader of the Opposition Sitiveni Rabuka outside the Government Building in Suva on July 1, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar

At least four executive positions within the Social Democratic Liberal Party organisation structure are now vacant, according to the Registrar of Political Parties, Mohammed Saneem.

This includes the president, vice presidents and party leader positions.

But last night, general secretary and registered officer Emele Duituturaga said the party management board was of the view that the casual vacancies were to be extended until the Special General Meeting on July 25, 2020.

Party leader Sitiveni Rabuka’s term had also lapsed, one year after the 2018 General Election. This leaves the party leader position effectively vacant, the Fiji Sun has separately learnt. Ms Duituturaga said the party was only made aware of the letter from the Registrar of Political Parties to Taitusi Rasoki Kata of Namoli Village after it was shared on social media.

In the letter, Mr Saneem said: “SODELPA is now in a constitutional crisis and it is advisable that the Party now finds a solution to resolve the matter.”

He said the appointment by the management board for casual vacancies of the positions of president and vice presidents had lapsed.

This was because the SODELPA Constitution states that the Annual General Meeting shall be held no later than 30th June every year. The party’s suspension was lifted on June 29, 2020.

Why I wrote to the Registrar of Political Parties

Mr Kata insisted that he was simply exercising his right when he inquired with the Registrar of Political Parties.

He preferred to be referred to only as a financial member of the party.

“I wanted clarity on the issue and he replied to me. I did that of my personal capacity as a financial member of the party when I saw that some of the decisions made was not in accordance with what the Registrar of Political Parties instructions.”

He said the ball was now in the SODELPA court and the party should take action.

“I have done what I am supposed to do, I just got clarity and I’ll let the party decide on what decision to take because I want to protect the party and I want to protect the people.”

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj

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