Analysis

Moral Integrity Tops Agenda In Battle For Party Leader Post

The moral integrity of the five candidates is under severe public scrutiny by party members in their discussions on the issue. The five candidates are incumbent Sitiveni Rabuka, former president and MP Ro Filipe Tuisawau, deputy Opposition Whip Aseri Radrodro, MP Viliame Gavoka and former general secretary Pio Tabaiwalu .
29 Aug 2020 14:02
Moral Integrity Tops Agenda In Battle For Party Leader Post
From left: SODELPA Former general secretary Pio Tabaiwalu, MP Viliame Gavoka and deputy Opposition Whip Aseri Radrodro

Moral integrity has emerged as top of the agenda  in the battle for SODELPA’s party leader.

Intense debate has been raging online on the sort of leader the party needs for a successful campaign in the 2022 General Election.

It has been fuelled by the split in the party between the moderates and the conservative right wingers.

The moral integrity of the five candidates is under severe public scrutiny by party members in their discussions on the issue.

The five candidates are incumbent Sitiveni Rabuka, former president and MP Ro Filipe Tuisawau, deputy Opposition Whip Aseri Radrodro, MP Viliame Gavoka and former general secretary Pio Tabaiwalu .

Because of the unprecedented interest in their contest among party members they have been invited to give their take on the issue to enlighten party members.

So far Mr Gavoka, Mr Radrodro and Mr Tabaiwalu have responded and their statements are featured in this article. Mr Rabuka and Ro Filipe had not responded when this edition went to press.

We are still hoping to hear from them and we will publish their views when they come to hand.

In the buildup to the announcement of the new party leader in November we will be featuring the candidates’ positions on selected topics of public interest.

The next topic is: Domestic Violence and sexual offences against women and children.

Here are the views of Mr Gavoka, Mr Tabaiwalu and Mr Radrodro on moral integrity in their own words:

 

VILIAME GAVOKA

The best way I see moral integrity is my belief in my own moral ethics and the conviction to stick by them.That is not to say I’m rigid as politics requires dialogue and accommodation.

I believe in good faith dialogue, and I show empathy for people, and if consistent with my moral code, I will agree on what is mutually beneficial. Once I agree on something, I don’t change.

Someone has described moral integrity as the virtue that lays the foundation for all other virtues and is thus fundamental to all others.

The Book of Proverbs 10:9 says, ‘Whoever walks in integrity, walks securely…’

Shakespeare in Hamlet had said: ‘This above all: to thine self be true, And it must follow as the night the day, Thou canst be false to any man’.

In politics, as in other areas, if there is no persuasion, there is no leadership. In order to persuade, a leader must have personal integrity. If a man keeps changing his mind, he lacks moral integrity and cannot persuade the populace to trust him; and should he somehow ascend to the leadership; confusion, apathy and lack of direction will plague the country.

Fiji cannot afford a leader with no moral integrity.

 

PIO TABAIWALU

Moral integrity is the quality of being honest and living by personal moral principles and strong values. Values such as honesty,trust, empathy, respect for the rule of law,good governance and transparency.

Leaders with moral integrity are needed in our families, communities, work places and political arena. The deterioration of moral values in our society is illustrated by the rampant rise in social ills besseting our country.

Our churches, temples and mosques and our schools have a vital role inculcating these fundamental values,

A Code of Ethics for political leaders and government entities and institutional integrity in the private sectors need to be promoted and strengthened in terms of their core values such as corporate responsibilty and business ethics to weed out corruption. A “whistle blowing” policy needs to be promoted widely.

We need to strengthen the separation of powers among the Legislature, the Judiciary and the Executive, the independence of institutions such as FICAC and the Human Rights Commission and promote a more transparent and accountable Parliamentary process.

Moral integrity entails a more equitable society where the benefits of economic growth are apportioned to all especially the poor and the disadvantaged and to strengthen the protection of basic freedoms and rights of citizens especially their right to hold government accountable.

Being accountable to the people is a moral obligation to do the right thing as leaders and taking responsibility for our actions.

 

ASERI RADRODRO

For me Moral integrity  means understanding your role, your place and what is demanded of you.

This will ensure leaders are hard working, service oriented, transparent, and accountable.

Moral integrity also means we need to be consistent and decisive in our actions and decisions.

Fiji will need to move forward and set new platforms for our children. This means that we must have the moral courage to always do the right thing.

Fiji needs leaders who observe the rule of law.  And this is in all aspects of our lives.

Moral integrity is knowing what brings peace to Fiji and addressing these needs.

This  means that we may need hard decisions to be made, but where necessary, we need to go through these times of pruning and polishing,  and Fiji will come out the winner in all these changes we are evolving through.

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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