Party In Limbo Over Opposition Role

Mr Rabuka confirmed that he would be contesting the 2022 elections and later took to social media to thank his supporters for their confidence in him.
28 Nov 2020 11:23
Party In Limbo Over Opposition Role
From left: SODELPA MP Viliame Gavoka and Opposition Leader Sitiveni Rabuka in Suva on November 27, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar

SODELPA’s parliamentary caucus will decide on Monday whether new party leader Viliame Gavoka replaces Sitiveni Rabuka as Opposition Leader.

If there is no vote and Mr Rabuka does not voluntarily step down then the status quo remains.

Mr Rabuka said yesterday that although he remained in the party, caucus would decide who would lead the Opposition for the remainder of its term.

Mr Gavoka was named the new party leader and Suva lawyer Filimoni Vosarogo the first holder of the newly-created deputy leader post by the Management Board yesterday.

Mr Gavoka edged Mr Rabuka and Mr Vosarogo beat Lynda Tabuya in close contests.

Mr Gavoka refused to make a comment following his appointment while party members congratulated him at the meeting venue.

Mr Rabuka said now that the Management Board had rejected him, he said he did not necessarily have to support Mr Gavoka because he was requested to be in the party in 2016.

This is contrary to what he said earlier that he would respect the decision of the executives and advised his supporters to do so.

He said he would have to consult those who requested him to join the party before deciding on a way forward.

However, he said he would not form a new party nor did he want to join another party even if his supporters decided to do so.

“No other party carries the heart or the philosophy of why I went into politics,” Mr Rabuka said.

“If I move and they (supporters) move with me then fine. If they move, I don’t need to move.”

Mr Rabuka confirmed that he would be contesting the 2022 elections and later took to social media to thank his supporters for their confidence in him.

He stated that this was an end of a chapter for him, not the end of the book.

“I answered the call, I tried, now this. The Party Management Board has decided, now back to the other board – the planning board! Vinaka vakalevu to the 77,040 who voted for me.”

Mr Vosarogo was tied up in a court trial yesterday evening and could not comment.

An emotional Ms Tabuya said she respected the decision and choice of the Management Board. But she would await the final decision from the Annual General Meeting today.

“I would like to state on record that the process is not over because the AGM is happening tomorrow (today) and the names have to be endorsed at the AGM,” Ms Tabuya said.

“I did hear that the race has closed and I feel honoured that I was considered by the board and that I did quite well in the interview. So at least I know I did my personal best but not being the choice of the Management Board I respect its decision but I will await the decision of the General Assembly which is the highest authority in the party tomorrow (today) to make its final decision to endorse the choices.”

She said she would meet with her Nasinu team members to see which way they wanted to go. She would accept the decision the AGM endorsed today.

Meanwhile, party supporters Pita Waqavonovono and Ben Daveta who over the years had played pivotal roles within the party were out in full force yesterday and took centre stage to deal with the media on behalf of the party.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa





Got A News Tip

Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.

By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.

For All Fiji Sun Advertising
Fijisun E-edition