Between the Lines | Politics

Chiefs, Rabuka And The Drama

It is hard not to feel sorry for Tui Cakau Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu. First the humiliation he faced when the two sides of Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) were at odds. His two times nomination for vice-presidency became a farce. And then, the one day ‘casual’ presidency given only to be relegated to the role of party vice-president recently was yet another slap to him.
27 Jul 2020 14:55
Chiefs, Rabuka And The Drama
SODELPA member Sitiveni Rabuka. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

Analysis:

It is hard not to feel sorry for Tui Cakau Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu. First the humiliation he faced when the two sides of Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) were at odds. His two times nomination for vice-presidency became a farce. And then, the one day ‘casual’ presidency given only to be relegated to the role of party vice-president recently was yet another slap to him.

This brings to mind what any in the past have said- Chiefs should not delve into politics. They have their own obligations to their people and should focus on that. The whole of Cakaudrove, Bau and Macuata would have seen and are questioning why Tui Cakau continues to lend his support to the main opposition party despite these continuous successful attempts to undermine him. Perhaps there are no other options left for him. Perhaps he is still hoping to emerge as a victor in this dirty politics which seems to dog SODELPA after every general election.

SODELPA has shown how in the current set-up they are not in any position to be the voice of the people. The locking of supporters outside the gates, only for them to hear the noise of merrymaking coming from inside was a real low blow. Member of Parliament Inosi Kuridrani and Party’s former Youth leader Pita Waqavonovono’s exchange on Facebook is yet another example of how people within SODELPA seems to be out to serve their own interest. Will this change? Nothing has changed since 2014, except the goalpost seems to be moved to further the agenda of a few. Another chief Ro Teimumu Kepa was removed as leader but the same provisions in their constitution were not honoured when Sitiveni Rabuka’s leadership was questioned.

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Then came the Fiji Sun poll. Some may want to rejoice that Mr Rabuka is still the second person people named for Prime Minister position. But, what is more, important is that where 18 per cent opted for Mr Rabuka, for the first time, 10 per cent opted for any other person. And, Ro Teimumu continues to be named by people. This is a blow to those who think that Mr Rabuka himself and not the party was responsible for his votes. This is a clear show that SODELPA supporters outside also want a change of guard too.

SODELPA has turned very murky and involving more chiefs will only dishonour the traditional positions they hold in their villages and provinces.

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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