SODELPA Facebook War

The latest bitter and toxic exchanges between the supporters of the rival factions have gone viral on social media.
17 Nov 2020 10:34
SODELPA Facebook War
Opposition leader Sitiveni Rabuka and Opposition Whip Aseri Radrodro.

The contest for SODELPA party leader has descended to gutter level politics

It has degenerated into tit-for-tat, no holds barred exchanges between the warring factions.

The original target of a smear campaign by some elements of the conservative right wing is MP and Deputy Opposition Whip Aseri Radrodro, one of four candidates for the party leader battle.

They launched their vitriolic attack against Mr Radrodro in the Facebook page of Ai Tukutuku delving into his past and making wild claims and accusations.

The attack comes 12 days before the party chooses its new party leader. It is a bid to cast aspersions on his character and credibility as a potential leader.

The other three candidates are incumbent and Opposition leader Sitiveni Rabuka, MP Viliame Gavoka and ousted president Ro Filipe Tuisawau.

Mr Radrodro’s wife, Sainiana, a Suva lawyer, has leapt to his defence, criticising the right wing leaders, including Mr Rabuka.

Rabuka’s response

Mr Rabuka has not said anything on the issue. But he has said before that he did not support members discussing their differences on public forums like social media.

He has encouraged members to meet and talk and he was willing to mediate.

Some party members are already calling on him to call a truce or a cessation of the hostilities between the rival factions.

While the right wing elements back him as party leader, it does not mean that he endorses the anti- Radrodro campaign.

Until he breaks his silence people will still link him to them.

He could not be reached to comment yesterday.

Party president Ratu Epenisa Cakobau also declined to comment.

He is understood to be assessing the situation before commenting, because of the sensitivity surrounding these issues.

He has also been dragged into the fray by these extremist elements.

They have given him a new name as Poodle after what they claim

was his decision against a Management Board resolution.

They allege that Ratu Epenisa and a Vice President MP Ro Teimumu Kepa whom they nicknamed the nation


‘Black Cobra’, had changed the Management Board decision that party leader candidates be interviewed in front of the board meeting.

The attack on Mr Radrodro and Ratu Epenisa by Ai Tukutuku is part of a random offensive against people who are either innocent or against their ideological beliefs.

The black cobra Ro Teimumu got her new name in July this year when these extremist elements made an unprovoked, inappropriate, unacceptable attack  against one of the country’s leading and senior journalists, Rosi Doviverata.

She is the Managing Editor Digital and Readership Development of the Fiji Sun.

Referring to a story she wrote on the party leader, the extremist elements accused her of trying to gain favour with Ro Teimumu on behalf of her husband, Ro Alivereti Doviverata, who is a member of the chiefly clan.

Ro Teimumu is the paramount chief of Rewa and Burebasaga Confederacy.

The message said: “Stop sucking up to the black cobra because you think your husband will be made the next Roko Tui Dreketi after the black cobra goes.”

The post was put down after Ro Alivereti objected and complained to Ro Filipe Tuisawau, Ro Teimumu’s nephew, a member of the conservative right wing.

The latest bitter and toxic exchanges between the supporters of the rival factions have gone viral on social media. It highlights the deep division and serious crisis the party is in.

Personal issues about the relationship between Mr Radrodro and his former father-in-law Mr Rabuka’s

family have been dredged up and thrown into the public forum.

This latest row has plunged the party to a new low that it may find difficult to climb back up from.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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