Analysis | Politics

Candidates Defy Call By Extremist Elements To Boycott Fiji Sun In Contest For New Party Leader

This is despite the call by the extremists who wanted the candidates not to talk to the Fiji Sun claiming it was not SODELPA’s friend.
04 Sep 2020 09:44
Candidates Defy Call By Extremist Elements To Boycott Fiji Sun In Contest For New Party Leader
From left: SODELPA Former general secretary Pio Tabaiwalu, MP Viliame Gavoka and deputy Opposition Whip Aseri Radrodro.

Three candidates for the SODELPA party leader contest have defied a call by extremist elements in the conservative right wing to boycott the Fiji Sun.

The defiance is a slap in the face for a bunch of losers and hypocrites who are quick to shoot from the hip, even against their own, in order to achieve their agenda.

MP Viliame Gavoka, former general secretary Pio Tabaiwalu and Deputy Opposition Whip Aseri Radrodro have sent in their responses to a Fiji Sun invitation to state their position on the topic: Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences Against Women and Children.

This is despite the call by the extremists who wanted the candidates not to talk to the Fiji Sun claiming it was not SODELPA’s friend.

The candidates’ statements will be featured in tomorrow’s edition.

Two other candidates vying for party leader, incumbent Sitiveni Rabuka, the Opposition Leader and former president Ro Filipe Tuisawau have so far not responded.

They failed to respond also to the first topic – Moral Integrity – and neither acknowledged receipt of the invitation nor stated reasons why they were not participating.

In the absence of a plausible explanation we leave it to readers to draw their own conclusions.

While it is their right or prerogative to respond or stay silent, it is not a good look.

Their stand is similar to the one promoted by the extremists. Whether they like it or not, that’s the way people could read it.

The extremists’ advocacy against the Fiji Sun goes against the party policy on media freedom and the people’s freedom of expression.

Mr Gavoka, Mr Tabaiwalu and Mr Radrodro show by their responses that they understand the role and value of the media.

They will not be intimidated by extremists who are disruptive and destructive to the party and the country as a whole.

The extremists, who operate under the name Ai Tukutuku,have descended to gutter level politics. Why haven’t they also attacked other SODELPA politicians, Mr Rabuka, Ro Filipe, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu and Litia Qionibaravi for Previously speaking to the Fiji Sun.

Smart politicians will jump at every opportunity to express their positions on various issues, particularly those that are topical and matters of public interest.

They know that there is an altruism in politics – if they do not control the narrative the media would come up with its own.

Politicians cannot afford to show their public hostility against the media. They will not be able to win that battle unless they embrace it.

We need to encourage national conversation on several issues of national interest.

The issues raised by the Fiji Sun are trending and people are talking about them.

In November one of the five candidates will be selected to lead SODELPA into the 2022 General Election as the new party leader.

Party members and non-members will learn through the statements by candidates whether they have what it takes to lead a party hoping to form the next Government.

So far Mr Gavoka, Mr Tabaiwalu and Mr Radrodro have made a perfect start.

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

TOMORROW:

The trio’s statements on Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences

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